The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06718
Date: [7 August 1892][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Helen Euphrosyne Whistler[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W712
Document Type: ALS

33. Rue de Tournon
Paris -

My dear Nellie -

Of course I thank you - and I must have shown you how pleased I was in the letters I have written - If I have [not] said so in so many words, it was partly because I was always waiting to tell you the long story in full detail - and partly because I never propose to acknowledge to any one that you had any thing whatever to do with it - This is what you want - and I had begun to get into the way of it by not referring to your share even to yourself! -

The story I think I must still reserve in its entirety until we see you - it is too pretty to struggle with on [p. 2] paper - But I had lately waited until with the beautiful pictures before us, I could tell you that John[3] who in his rabid greed for money sold even the present[4] I made him has been beaten completely! - for in his indecent haste he has parted with the works for only a quarter of what they will at once fetch! - So that he might have had about twenty two or twenty three times what they ever gave me for them! - That is counting in of course my present!. -

You will say that he got £650 - after all - that is more than seven times what I got - as well as I remember - Yes but to have disgraced himself - (for I shall tell the story of the sale of the present everywhere, now that the pictures are safe! -) - and from a criminal point of view, for so little!!

Why the Westminster Bridge[5] is being asked a thousand for by itself - And the Balcony[6] - what do you think will be the price of that? - and my Courbet[7] on the shore! - and the little evening on the Battersea Reach[8] - a most gorgeous bit of colour - greatly admired here - The idea of Johns peddling these beautiful things away! Why they were possessions! - They are all going to America except my Courbet. - And Aleco[9] has sold the "Three Yachts[10]" for £200! - to a man in Paris! - What do you suppose I got for it? Twenty do you think? - Ask him - and tell him what I think of their "trading" and "bettering themselves" with my work - It is the dealer's business [deleted word, illegible] to sell - it is the gentleman's privilege to preserve & care for & take pride in works of art he has acquired - Aleco, you know I suppose, has sold the Valparaiso Nocturne[11] - for "cash" - in both cases! - pretty business isn't it? -

Of course I shall pay the other twenty pounds and get back the Southampton - but you may well imagine that I have not at this moment much ready money - Did you tell Madame Coronio[12] that I was pleased that I could have been of any service? - What does she think of John's sale of my present? - I suppose she thinks he was lucky in having it to sell! -

Mrs. Sickert[13] is charming always - and I must [p. 3] see to every thing -

This must go off at once - so Goodbye for this time -

[butterfly signature]

Is Willie[14] going to the Moffat[15] dinner?

I doubt if I shall get across after all - though I have taken a ticket, & subscribed to the testimonial -

I see by Galignani[16] that the Century Club has gone to pieces! -

This document is protected by copyright.


Mrs William McNeill Whistler
17. Wimpole Street
Cavendish Square -
London -
[postmark:] PARIS-6 R. DE VAUGIRARD / 7E 7 / AOUT / 92
[postmark on verso:] LONDON. W. / V 7 / AU 8 / [92]


1.  [7 August 1892]
Dated from postmark.

2.  Helen Euphrosyne Whistler
Helen ('Nellie') Euphrosyne Whistler (1849-1917), née Ellen Ionides, JW's sister-in-law [more].

3.  John
Dr John Cavafy (ca 1839-1901), physician and collector, son of G. J. Cavafy [more].

4.  present
The two references to 'present' in this paragraph are double underlined.

5.  Westminster Bridge
The Last of Old Westminster (YMSM 39).

6.  Balcony
Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony (YMSM 56).

7.  Courbet on the shore
JW painted Jean-Désiré-Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), painter [more] in Harmony in Blue and Silver: Trouville (YMSM 64) in October/November 1865.

8.  Battersea Reach
Battersea Reach (YMSM 45).

9.  Aleco
Alexander ('Aleco') Ionides (1840-1898), businessman [more].

10.  Three Yachts
ProbablySea and Rain (YMSM 65).

11.  Valparaiso Nocturne
Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Valparaiso Bay (YMSM 76).

12.  Madame Coronio
Aglaia Coronio (1834-1906), née Ionides, wife of George Coronio [more].

13.  Mrs. Sickert
Ellen Melicent Sickert (1848-1914), née Cobden, writer [more].

14.  Willie
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].

15.  Moffat
Edmund J. Moffat, agent, US Department of Agriculture [more]. See #06717.

16.  Galignani
The Galignani Messenger, an English language newspaper published in Paris from 1815-31 December 1895, after which it was renamed the Daily Messenger.

17.  Angleterre
Double underlined.