Many thanks - Soon I hope to show you my big picture -
Meanwhile, with kindest regards
J. A M'N. Whistler
2 Lindsey Houses Chelsea -
You should mention the butterfly is my mark -
1. [1 April 1876]
After 1 April 1876. Dated from the reference to an article by E. D. Wallace, which appeared on 1 April. However, the date could be before 1 April as JW may be referring to a draft article rather than the published result. Alternatively, the letter could date from the period in between the publication of two versions of the article (see bibliographical reference below).
2. Mrs E. D. Wallace
Mrs E. D. Wallace (fl. 1871-1887), poet, novelist and writer on art [more]. However, the author of the 'London Letter' is identified in the The Baltimore Gazette (see note below) as 'Mr E. D. Wallace.'
Wallace published a humorous article on JW which included a lengthy discussion of his etchings and drypoints (see Wallace, E. D., 'The Fine Arts Abroad,' Forney's Weekly Press, 1 April 1876). A cutting of the article is in GUL, Whistler PC 1, p. 91. Another version is in GUL, Whistler PC 1, p. 75 ('Mr Whistler's Paintings. A Baltimore Artist in England - What is Thought of Him Abroad,' The Baltimore Gazette). It quotes extensively from Wallace's 'London Letter' in Forney's Weekly Press. Both articles are annotated in Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, p. 175, J. 32, J. 33.
Wallace describes JW's prints in glowing terms, as JW's response here suggests. Their rarity is highlighted in Wallace's anecdote of a visit to view them at the British Museum Print Room: 'We are cautioned by the clerk "to handle the treasures carefully", for there are no duplicates of exquisite drypoints, and the British Museum is the only place in the world where they can be seen.' This anecdote is repeated in both papers.
7. You should ... mark -
Written at right-angles to the main text, in the right-hand margin.
8. The name ... Mother
Written upside down to the main text, at the top of the sheet and above the butterfly signature.