The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 9 of 43

System Number: 02568
Date: [April 1876][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Frederick Richards Leyland[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L104
Document Type: ALS[3]

My very dear Leyland -

Now what have I done to you that you should present me with this very questionable Japanese o - Marks[4] o - Boulevard du Temple[5] - bric à brac stand! -

It has just arrived, and the "Princess[6]" has gone back in its stead -

You were grand when you helped me buy the lacquer cabinet[7] - but this is unkind -

[p. 2] When the other morning the gift was made, my eyes were clouded with sympathy at what I took for your desire to testify appreciation of beautiful work done - "naif enfant[8]"! - you lacked faith in my pink door[9] and show your sense of my judgement by this wicked sarcasm! -

Enfin mon cher[10], I accept the irony, as Georgie Chapman[11] would say, but "pass" on the stand. -

Ever Yours -

J. A McN W.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [April 1876?
Dated from the presence of La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (YMSM 50) in JW's studio in April 1876 (New York Herald, 10 April 1876).

2.  Frederick Richards Leyland
Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more].

3.  ALS
This may be a draft or copy of a letter to Leyland, or it may never have been sent, since it remained in JW's estate.

4.  Marks
Murray Marks (1840-1918), dealer in oriental art [more].

5.  Boulevard du Temple
Theatrical district in Paris.

6.  Princess
Leyland bought La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (YMSM 50) and it was hanging in his house by November 1872. It was back in JW's studio in 1876 (New York Herald, 10 April 1876).

7.  lacquer cabinet
This may be the cabinet sold at JW's bankruptcy sale at Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, Auction catalogue, 12 February 1880 (lot. no. 76) "Japanese china cabinet, fitted with ebony drawers, and lac panels, painted with figures, on a stand. 3 ft. 9 in. [by] 2 ft. 4 in." The cabinet sold for £10.10.0 to Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more].

8.  naif enfant
Fr., naive child.

9.  pink door
In April 1876, JW was consulted about the colour of doors and windows in F. R. Leyland's house at 49 Princes Gate (see Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178)).

10.  Enfin mon cher
Fr., So, my dear fellow.

11.  Georgie Chapman
George R. Chapman (b. 1834), artist [more].