The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: auction
Record 15 of 25

System Number: 05819
Date: 27 April 1895
Author: David Croal Thomson[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler T164
Document Type: ALS

[royal coat of arms]


April 27. 1895

Dear Mr Whistler,

I have received Mrs Whistlers[2] kind note & thank you both for your sympathy about my accident[3]. Happily my knee becomes better every day & I scarcely limp at all.

We are sending the portrait in oil[4] you left here a couple of months ago. I [p. 2] had it tied up at the time & it has not been seen by any one but me.

In the same case is the little drawing[5] with a pen & ink remark on the second glass.

We are writing to the N. Y. Herald[6], stating price of drawing.

I shall try to find out who bought H. Penningtons[7] portrait of Wilde.

Pennell[8] bought a drawing of yours for one shilling. There was a lot of [p. 3] stuff in a fireplace. Among them J. P. say[s] a drawing of yours - I do not know what it was - in a passepartout with broken glass. J. P. is said to have asked the auctioneer 'How much will you take for that' - What do you offer said the man selling - One shilling said J. P. & the auctioneer say all right - Do you remember Joey B. in Vanity Fair[9]?

Such is the story being told. The man who told me said J. P. told him.

[p. 4] I send you the Catalogue of to-days collection here. You will see R A. M. Stevensons[10] remarks on your picture

With my kind regards to Mrs Whistler who I hope is pretty well

Believe me
Very faithfully

D. C. Thomson

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  David Croal Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

2.  Mrs Whistlers
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. She had written on 25 April 1895, #08286.

3.  my accident
Thomson had been thrown from a coach; see #05817.

4.  portrait in oil
Not identified.

5.  little drawing
r.: Maud Franklin; v.: Study of Maud Franklin (M.693). The 'remark' was a note by Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), née Henrietta Rosine Bernard, actress [more] (see #05817).

6.  N. Y. Herald
The New York Herald published an incorrect price for the drawing, see #08286.

7.  H. Penningtons
Robert Goodloe Harper Pennington (1854-1920), artist [more]. [z0339] was also sold at the enforced auction of goods belonging to Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wilde (1854-1900), writer, critic and playwright [more].

8.  Pennell
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), printer and illustrator, JW's biographer [more]. The drawing he bought at the sale organised by Bullock, London, 24 April 1895, has not been identified, although Sketch of a Lady (M.1430) was lot 123.

9.  Vanity Fair
Novel by William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), novelist and writer on art [more], first published in monthly numbers, January 1847- June 1848. There is no character called 'Joey B'; however, Chapter XVII describes the bankruptcy auction of John Sedley, conducted by Mr Hammerdown. A painting of Joseph (Joe) Sedley on an elephant is 'knocked down for half a guinea' and bought by Becky Sharpe and her husband Rawdon Crawley.

10.  R A. M. Stevensons
Robert Macaulay Stevenson (1860-1952), painter and art critic [more].