The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11109
Date: 3 August 1863
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: William Hookham Carpenter[1]
Place: [London]
Repository: British Museum
Call Number: Department of Prints and Drawings, Letterbook, 1863
Document Type: ALS[2]

7 Lindsey Row
Old Battersea Bridge

Monday 3rd Aug. 1863

Sir -

Mr Seymour Haden[3] informs me that you wish to purchase proofs of my etchings for the British Museum - I shall gladly collect the finest in my possession for that purpose & send them to you by degrees - In the mean time I forward to you this day by parcels delivery, twelve [p. 2] proofs - etching, and dry points - selected and printed by myself - on Japanese and old dutch paper[4] -

I leave this evening for Holland[5], but will on my return, continue, if you desire it, to send proofs old and new - My bankers address is -

Messrs. J. G. Cavafy[6] & Co. 31. Threadneedle St.
City -

and they will forward to me your answer -

Believe me Sir, with many thanks
Yours Sincerely,

James A. Whistler.

[p. 3]

"Old Miser[7]" Dry pt (2nd state.)[3 dots]...
"The forge[8]"  "     " (2nd State -)
"Thames Police.[9]" Etching. (2nd state -)
"The Camp[10]". Dry Pt. (2nd State)
"Black Lion Wharf[11]" Etching (1st state)
"Black Lion Wharf[12]" Etching (1st state)
"Limehouse[13]" etching (1st state)
"Limehouse" etching (2nd State)
"Old Westminster bridge[14]"   (2nd State)
"Billingsgate[15]"      " (1st state) very rare.
"Astruc[16]" dry point head - (2nd State)
"The Little Rotherhithe[17]" etching (1st State)
(From Tunnel pier[18])      " (1st State)
[line drawn across page]    
£12.12.0. -    


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1.  William Hookham Carpenter
William Hookham Carpenter (1792-1866), Keeper of the Print Room at the British Museum [more].

2.  ALS
The letter is stuck into a letterbook. Although Carpenter's reply has not survived, he recommended the purchase of JW's etchings to the Trustees of the British Museum on 7 October (see #12780).

3.  Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

4.  Japanese and old dutch paper
JW printed each etching on a variety of papers, including thin japanese paper and thicker watermarked Dutch laid paper.

5.  Holland
On his return JW wrote to J. O'Leary that he had been buying Chinese porcelain in Holland (#09333; see also Heijbroek, J. F. and Margaret F. MacDonald, Whistler and Holland, Zwolle and Amsterdam, 1997, p. 25).

6.  Cavafy
George John Cavafy (1805-1891), merchant, partner in G. J. Cavafy and Company [more], owned several paintings by JW (The Last of Old Westminster (YMSM 39), Battersea Reach (YMSM 45), Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony (YMSM 56) and Harmony in Blue and Silver: Trouville (YMSM 64)).

7.  Old Miser
The Miser (K.69), etching and drypoint, dated 1861.

8.  The forge
The Forge (K.68), dated 1861.

9.  Thames Police
Thames Police (K.44), dated 1859.

10.  The Camp
Probably Encamping (K.82), dated 1861.

11.  Black Lion Wharf
Black Lion Wharf (K.42), dated 1859.

12.  Limehouse
Limehouse (K.40), dated 1859.

13.  Old Westminster bridge
Old Westminster Bridge (K.39), dated 1859.

14.  Billingsgate
Billingsgate (K.47a), dated 1859.

15.  Astruc
Astruc, a literary man (K.53), dated 1859.

16.  The Little Rotherhithe
Probably Little Wapping (K.73), dated 1861.

17.  From Tunnel pier
Tunnel Pier was on the north bank of the Thames, adjacent to the Thames Tunnel connecting Wapping on the north bank with Rotherhithe on the south bank of the river.