The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: collecting, porcelain
Record 9 of 9

System Number: 04795
Date: 1 March [1901][1]
Author: JW
Place: Ajaccio
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P435
Document Type: ALS



À M. March 1st.

Evening - been raining all day! & now blowing a gale! -

Snow in Naples!

My dear Major

the green baize for the table must cost a lot of money!! - - this you will say, shows a state of mind known as the "sax penny" one! - Well so it does - You see I had even gotten on so far in that condition as to contemplate selling[3] that round table! - It is true I never could sell anything in my life -

Howell[4] was the one who would have managed that sort of transaction beautifully! pleased every body - and put twenty pounds in his pocket as well! Do you think Mrs. Conn[5] would give me £40. for the table down?!! - I believe it is worth no end of money! What did Mrs. Doctor[6] use to say? seventy? was it? - Ask the man with native nose - or our friend down stairs - & point out to him that the top is without a join! - all one piece of wood! - You are quite right though Major, as you always are - and the green cloth will look very handsome - But where[7] should we put that round table? -

The plates[8] Ronnie[9] brings, Major, of course you will put in beautiful condition & order, like the others, so that we may have all our copper together - to [p. 2] see what gold, if any, there be in the entire collection - In the cleaning, you must, by this time have become very smart indeed! - but don't rub hard, for some of these may have very delicate work in them - still let us see them bright and fair to look upon! -

I wanted you to get the list from Webb[10] - which you send me - in order that you might see if, in the studio lot that you just done, you find any or all of the plates on his paper?

Did you verify this? - I shall send you back the list enclosed, any how -

Cant find it and this must go -

All the Amsterdam plates[11] seem to be in it -

Quite right to have at once lodged the complaint at P. O. as I said - And I hope you have decidedly stated to the authorities that the letters were forwarded to me opened -

I think I must get out of this - I can do nothing and the weather is atrocious!

Sunday 'March 3rd'[12]

Got your nice little line of enquiry Major - I still have excellent appetite - though worry about all accumulated work - & so dont sleep quite so well -

All right[13] about doing the feet of table -

Many things -

The General -

Never mind plates

This document is protected by copyright.


're table'[14]
'March 1st 1901'

Miss Rosalind Birnie Philip
Dhu House
36. Tite Street
[postmark:] MARSEILLE / LIGNE D'AJACCIO / 11 30 S / 4 MARS / 01
[oval stamp on verso flap:] HÔTEL SCHWEIZERHOF/ AJACCIO (CORSE)


1.  1 March [1901]
Year dated from the postmark.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. JW called her 'Major' and himself 'General'.

3.  selling
Double underlined.

4.  Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more].

5.  Mrs. Conn
Mrs Conn, unidentified.

6.  Mrs. Doctor
Helen ('Nellie') Euphrosyne Whistler (1849-1917), née Ellen Ionides, JW's sister-in-law [more].

7.  where
Double underlined.

8.  plates
The etched copperplates of Corsica, which included Bohemians, Corsica (K.442), were not entirely successful, because the acid-resistant ground was not stable.

9.  Ronnie
Ronald Murray Philip (1871-1940), civil engineer, JW's brother-in-law [more].

10.  Webb
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

11.  Amsterdam plates
'Holland set', 1889 (K.402-416) (excat 10).

12.  'March 3rd'
Written by the recipient.

13.  All right
This sentence was written in the left margin and the remainder in the right margin.

14.  're table'
Written by the recipient.