The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 08633
Date: [June/July 1886?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Walter Dowdeswell[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Rare Books and Manuscripts Division
Document Type: ALS

Dear Walter -

I hope & trust that you have sent off the papers I at last found & posted to you for Mr Cassatt's lawyer[3] -

Please write me at once a line to say that they have gone on the steamer to America -

Have you ordered the paper from the Printer[4] in Paris? -

Did you see what a lovely state [p. 2] I have put your Nocturne Furnace[5] in? -

Had you not better subscribe five guineas to the Suffolk St ballot[6]? - The proof you know is a beauty and you can sell one of these days for more than that! - Also you have beside five chances of getting five damned things that you could sell immediately!

[butterfly signature]

Send round the circulars enclosed.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [June/July 1886?]
Dated from references to etching, Arrangement in Black, No. 8: Portrait of Mrs Cassatt (YMSM 250) and Society of British Artists.

2.  Walter Dowdeswell
Walter Dowdeswell (1858-1929), art dealer [more].

3.  Mr Cassatt's lawyer
The lawyer (unidentified) for JW's patron Alexander Johnston Cassatt (1839-1906), engineer, collector [more]. The 'papers' referred to by JW may relate to Arrangement in Black, No. 8: Portrait of Mrs Cassatt (YMSM 250), commissioned by Cassatt in 1883 but only recently completed and sent to America. JW himself considered it unfinished.

4.  paper from the Printer
Possibly a reference to Émile Frédéric Salmon (1840-1913), sculptor and print-maker [more], who printed a few impressions of plates from A Set of twenty-six etchings of Venice, 1886 (the second 'Venice set') (K.196-216, 233-237). (excat 6) in Paris before JW decided to print the edition himself (see MacDonald, Margaret F., Palaces in the Night Whistler in Venice, Aldershot, 2001, pp. 121-2).

5.  Nocturne Furnace
Nocturne: Furnace (K.213).

6.  Suffolk St ballot
A reference to the Society of British Artists, later the Royal Society of British Artists at Suffolk Street. JW was elected a member on 21 November 1884 and President on 1 June 1886. JW had organised a lottery to raise funds for the Society in July 1885. The prospectus (#09363) ran: 'The first fifty Subscribers of £5. 5S. will receive an etching by Mr J. McN. Whistler (after which the plate will be destroyed), in addition to five chances in the Ballot. Tickets - one guinea each. To be obtained from any of the Members.' The etching was The Fish-Shop, Busy Chelsea (K.264).