The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 08285
Date: 12 February [1894][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: David Croal Thomson[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 18/1514-5
Document Type: ALS[3]

110. Rue du Bac - Paris

Monday night - Feb. 12 -

Dear Mr Thomson -

Many thanks for your very nice letter[4] which has just come this evening - and I now see that my second note[5] had not reached you - It will be very kind of you to manage this matter of the cheque - for it is extraordinary the strange way in which this month - "of all months of the year" - I have been made to wait in a most desperate way for every sum that is due! -

They must all think that I have made a fortune - & am never in any hurry for money! -

The fact is that in some vague way [p. 2] they must confound the successful speculation of Potter[6] & that set with a notion of beneficial result to myself! -

Just fancy Potter must have made at least a clean sweep of twelve hundred out of me! - & he has had the advantage of looking at my pictures all these years besides! -

You ask if Mrs Reveillon[7] has any more? - No - thank the Lord! that game is about over! - There are only 3, or 4 men left in London with Whistlers - & they mean to keep them I fancy - Alexander[8] - Louis Huth - Lord Battersea - & Graham Robertson -

Do you know that I counted about 18 or 19 "Whistlers" sold since I have been here - the mass of these since our exhibition - and most of them gone out of the country forever! -

Now that's all over - & the only two Whistlers[9] of this lot that I know of are in my possession - "The fire wheel" - £1000 - & the "Nocturne Blue & Silver" that you know - Wherefor if business is to be done, at last it must be done with me -

And why not? - wont this do for you?

Now lithograph - send you proof in a day or two -

Yes the Art Journal we get regularly now - very nice of you -

It is quite another thing in your hands - but I am waiting for the pean[10] of praise & congratulations to Lord Jones[11]!.. -

[p. 3] You must arrange with Mr Way[12] (after I send you the new proof[13] & you see if it will do for Journal) about the time of publication - so as not to appear at the same moment with Gleeson White[14] (Studio) - as he is anxious about this -

With kindest regard

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  12 February [1894]
Dated from reference to Potter.

2.  David Croal Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

3.  ALS
'14C' is written in an another hand in red ink at top left, and '88' in pencil at bottom right of p. 1.

4.  your very nice letter
10 February 1894, #05802.

5.  my second note
12 February 1894, #08278.

6.  successful speculation of Potter
John Gerald Potter (1829-1908), wallpaper manufacturer and patron [more], had sold Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52) and Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights (YMSM 115) in 1893 for £1400 to Arthur ('Peter') Haythorne Studd (1863-1919), painter and collector [more]. Potter had originally purchased Symphony in White, No. 2 for less than £150 and JW's indignation is expressed in a letter to E. G. Kennedy, 4 February 1894, #09715.

7.  Mrs Reveillon
JW is referring to the auction of Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room (YMSM 34) at Christie's, London on 10 February 1894 (lot 69). This was sold by Julia de Kay Revillon (1855-1930), née Whistler, JW's niece [more], and bought by 'Collin' or 'Collard' for £199.10.0, although Thomson states that it was bought by William Paterson, Glasgow art dealer.

8.  Alexander
William Cleverly Alexander (1840-1916), banker and patron [more]; Louis Huth (1821-1905), collector [more]; Cyril Flower (1843-1907), barrister, Liberal MP, 1st Baron Battersea [more]; and Walford Graham Robertson (1867-1948), painter, designer and collector [more].

9.  only two Whistlers
Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel (YMSM 169) and Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 152); see JW's letters to E. G. Kennedy, 4 and 9 February 1894, #09715 and #09716.

10.  pean
US spelling for paean: any song of praise.

11.  Lord Jones
Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898), painter and designer [more]; see JW to D. C. Thomson, 8 and 10 February 1894, #05802, and JW's comment on the 'new Baronet', #08284.

12.  Mr Way
Thomas Way (1837-1915), lithographic printer [more].

13.  new proof
The lithograph Nursemaids: 'Les Bonnes du Luxembourg' (C.81) was published in The Art Journal, vol. 46, no. 120, December 1894; see #03365.

14.  Gleeson White
Joseph William Gleeson White (1851-1898), writer on art, first editor of the Studio [more]. He seems to have first contacted Way in December 1892; see #06098. Gants de suède (C.35) was published in The Studio, vol. 3, no. 13, April 1894; see #03362.