The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06236
Date: 28 July 1896
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: William Webb[1]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W231
Document Type: ALS[2]


St. Judes Cottage - Heath End
Hampstead -

My dear Mr. Webb -

Mrs. Whibley[4] is coming to see you tomorrow morning about several most important matters - She will be at your office at 12. o'clock

Meanwhile I send enclosed, page of Messrs. Robinson & Fishers Catalogue[5] for Thursday's sale at Willis' Rooms[6]. In this you will see No. 179. announced J. M. Whistler, "Portrait of a lady". I went [p. 2] went this afternoon and saw it myself -

The painting is not by me -

In the lower left hand corner there is an imitation of my mark, The Butterfly -

The portrait is a three quarters length, life size painting - and it is high time this sort of thing were not only put a stop to, but punished -

I know that the painting can be confiscated, and destroyed - but also the perpetrator or perpetrators should be made to suffer for the forgery -

The sale as you see comes on on Thursday - therefore I want you to send down your clerk to demand the delivery of the picture into you hands for destruction, tomorrow before 4. or 5. o'clock -

But dont you think you could run up to Kings Street, Willis' Rooms, with Mrs Whibley and look at it yourself. It might interest you - and your clerk might could follow and lay claim to the work immediately after -

In great haste
Always sincerely

J McNeill Whistler.

Tuesday night. July 28. 1896! -

[p. 3]
'Whistler forged picture
at Robinson & Fishers sale[7] -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  William Webb
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

2.  ALS
Written on deep bordered mourning paper.

3.  Robinson & Fishers sale
'Whistler ... Robinson & Fishers sale' is written in another hand.

4.  1896
Written in another hand at the top of the sheet.

5.  Mrs. Whibley
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

6.  Messrs. Robinson & Fishers
Firm of auctioneers located at 26-28, King Street, St James. The painting referred to by JW is unidentified. JW instructed Webb to stop the sale of the painting; see his subsequent letter on the subject to Webb, #06237.

7.  Willis' Rooms
Assembly rooms in King Street, St. James, once a fashionable concert venue.