The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Transcription/Database Record

the on-line edition

System Number: 08613
Date: [22/24 May 1884?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Charles William Dowdeswell[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Rare Books and Manuscripts Division
Document Type: ALS

Dear Mr Dowdeswell -

Mr Flower[3] has been here this morning and after fixing upon 'The Sweet Shop', 'The Sun Cloud', and the little Chelsea Embankment - I have forgotten the exact name - but you know the one I mean, [sketch[4]] has gone away saying that he will now write to me and make me a formal proposal -

So send me by return the prices as they were in [p. 2] the catalogue[5] - that I may know what I am about -

By the way I might have a few catalogues (as I have none whatever) - and one full priced one -


[butterfly signature]

What of Jopling[6]? - 'Vere is dat barty now[7]?' - -

I am greatly pleased with you - I have a great opinion of your understanding now that you like the flower pieces[8]! -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [22/24 May 1884]
Dated by references to 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1884. This clearly dates from some time after the opening on 17 May.

2.  Charles William Dowdeswell
Charles William Dowdeswell (1832-1915), art dealer [more].

3.  Mr Flower
Wickham Flower (b. ca 1836), solicitor and collector [more]. He offered JW £160 for An Orange Note: Sweet Shop (YMSM 264), Note in Blue and Opal: The Sun Cloud (YMSM 271), and Harmony in Brown and Gold: Old Chelsea Church (YMSM 305) but JW wanted 250 gns, so Flower bought the first two for £160 (Flower to JW, #01431; JW to Flower, #01432; Dowdeswell to JW, #00867).

4.  sketch
Sketch of 'Harmony in Brown and Gold: Old Chelsea Church' (M.960).

5.  catalogue
The catalogue for 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1884.

6.  Jopling
Joseph Middlemore Jopling (1831-1884), painter [more].

7.  Vere is dat barty now
Quotation from Charles Godfrey Leland (1824-1903), pseudonym 'Hans Breitmann', writer [more], Hans Breitman's Ballads (1856): 'Hans Breitman gif a barty / Vere is dat barty now? / Gone mit der lager beer / Into das evigkeit!'

8.  flower pieces!
Unidentified flower pieces. JW did exhibit some flower pictures at 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Second Series, Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1886, such as Mother of pearl and silver - Flowers (M.1107), A yellow note - Flowers (M.1108), and Studies of poppies (M.1109), but it is not thought that they date as early as 1884.