The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 08112
Date: [September/November 1878?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: May Margherita Rawlinson[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/43/1
Document Type: ALS

Dear Mrs. Rawlinson -

I am so sorry about sunday but I cannot go out to lunch on that day, as my breakfasts[3] have begun again. -

You never will come so you told me - but perhaps I may still persuade you yet -

The picture[4] is going to you tomorrow morning so you need not trouble to send for it -

Signor Buggiani[5] who brings the Nocturne, is [p. 2] an Italian gentleman whom I beg to present to you - he has varnished the Nocturne for me - and is greatly gifted in all understanding of pictures and their ways - Perhaps you will if convenient let him look at your collection and if you have any (Old Masters or Modern) that require cleaning, restoring or varnishing let me recommend Signor Buggiani -

My trial with Ruskin[6] makes me very busy just now but I shall come soon to call - and also to bring another frame - painted[7] - dont let this one be touched please - I will explain -

Very Sincerely Yours

J A McN Whistler

The White House -
Chelsea Embankment

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1.  [September/November 1878?]
This letter dates from after the start of JW's 'Sunday breakfasts' in September and before the Whistler v. Ruskin trial on 25-26 November 1878 (see below).

2.  May Margherita Rawlinson
May Margherita Rawlinson (b. 1822, m. 1867), néee Cridland, wife of the collector [more].

3.  breakfasts
Surviving menus and the accounts kept by John S. Charles (fl. 1876-1887), fishmonger in Pimlico, London [more], indicate that JW held 'Sunday breakfasts' nearly every week, and certainly on 7, 14 and 28 September, 19 and 26 October, 2, 16, 23 and 30 November, 7, 14, 21 and 28 December 1878 (see #08848, #08849). They were aimed at patrons like Mrs. Rawlinson, since only the possibility of attracting more commissions could justify the cost of all that lobster.

4.  picture
Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 119), which was worked on by JW on several occasions (see #11626, #08112).

5.  Buggiani
Brazio Buggiani (b. ca 1818), picture restorer [more].

6.  trial with Ruskin
The Whistler v. Ruskin trial was heard on 25-26 November 1878.

7.  frame - painted
JW painted scale or feather patterns in greeny-blue on gold frames for the Nocturnes, sometimes signing them with a butterfly. He may have wanted a new frame for Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 119) for exhibition at Westminster Hall during the trial.