The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 10617
Date: 23 November [1878][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: [none]
Repository: [Published][2]
Document Type: ADS

Nov. 23.

[butterfly signature]

Potage[3] aux huitres -
 Filets de Sole - sauce Hollandaise -
   Côtelettes purée d'Or -
     Poulet à la Baltimore - hominy -
       Bifteck Parisenne -
         Mince Pies -
           Fromage en ramequins

Café -

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1.  23 November [1878]
According to the sale catalogue, 'A note in pencil on the mount gives the date 1878 and states that this was the menu for a dinner at Whistler's house attended by Sergeant Parry, who appeared for Whistler in his celebrated libel action against Ruskin, which was heard on 25 November. The dinner, therefore, was probably a kind of pre-trial celebration. Whistler believed the case would go his way but he was awarded only a farthing damages and made to pay the heavy costs, as a result of which he had to give up his lovely 'White House' and retire for a time to Venice' (Maggs sale catalogue no. 988, Spring 1978, item no. 180).

2.  [Published]
Published in Maggs sale catalogue no. 988, Spring 1978, item no. 180. Maggs described this as an 'Autograph Menu, Signed with his "Butterfly," for a dinner given by Whistler. 1 page oblong 8vo, mounted, The White House, Chelsea Embankment, 23 Nov. 1878' for sale at £95. (repr. plate X).

3.  Potage
The menu, written in French, but with a distinctly international content, comprised oyster soup, fillet of sole in a Hollandaise sauce, [lamb] cutlets with a gold purée, Baltimore chicken with hominy, steak in the Parisian manner, mince pies, potted cheese and coffee.