The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: mezzotint
Record 13 of 18

System Number: 09774
Date: [28 October 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[2]
Place: New York
Repository: New York Public Library
Call Number: E. G. Kennedy II/109
Credit Line: Edward Guthrie Kennedy Papers / Manuscripts and Archives Division / The New York Public Library / Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
Document Type: ALS[3]

110. Rue du Bac. Paris

'answered Nov 5 / 97'

My dear O K -

Here is the receipt and acknowledgement of the cheque you so kindly sent me some time ago - I have been frightfully hard at work - and in the midst of it comes this trial again of Sir William Eden[4] - It is announced for the 9th next month - so that I may perhaps run over to London [p. 2] in the mean while -

Are you still desirous to hold the little London waif - The London sparrow[5] - you remember saying that you would like to have it - and I told you I should want £500. for it? - Let me know -

The Syndicate of which you have doubtless seen some notice in the papers - and which is definitely to be called The "Company of the Butterfly"[6] in noway [sic] interferes with any previous arrangements between you & me - nor indeed if it comes to that with any future ones we may please to entertain -

I was glad to hear of your pleasant voyage accross [sic] the Atlantic - though mind you you made it known to me in a very shocking letter[7], concerning the distinctions conferred upon me in France - !

Of this one of these days - when we meet again - meanwhile "no mortal eye!!. - !

It was very nice of you to send me the exceedingly pretty little book[8] which you reproduced in such perfect taste -

I find every body delighted with it -

[p. 3] Write us a letter soon -

And with kindest regards to your brother[9] and yourself
believe me my dear O K
Always Sincerely Yours

J McNeill Whistler

I sent you the other day, through Lauser[10], a mezzotint engraving by Geo. McCulloch[11] - from one of his own pictures - I think it full of grace & refined charm - You surely could do business with it, and I believe could get the plate which is quite fresh, together with another (of which more directly) for £200. at the most -

This document is protected by copyright.


'Oct. 28, 1897'

E. G. Kennedy. Esq.
Messrs Wunderlich & Co
868. Broadway.
New York -
U. S. A. -
Étas Unis
[stamp:] POSTAGE & REVENUE / 2 1/2d
[postmark:] PARIS / R. DU BAC / 5E [28?] / OCT / 97
[postmark on verso:] NEW YORK N.Y. / NOV 4 / [illegible]


1.  [28 October 1897]
Probable date of postmark.

2.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

3.  ALS
The stationery has a mourning border. Letter and envelope are endorsed in Kennedy's hand.

4.  Sir William Eden
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more]. JW is referring to his long-running dispute with Eden over the completion of Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. See Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24] for JW's account of the affair.

5.  The London sparrow
The Little London Sparrow (YMSM 477), a portrait of Elizabeth ('Lizzie') Willis, daughter of JW's housekeeper [more]. In about June 1898, Kennedy mentioned a price of £450 for the painting but offered to share any profit over £600 (E. G. Kennedy to JW, #07300).

6.  'Company of the Butterfly'
JW formed the company in April 1897 in order to sell his works direct to the public. He leased premises at 2 Hinde Street, Manchester Square, and employed Mrs Christine Anderson as manager. However, it was not a success and ran only until 1901.

7.  letter

8.  book
Possibly 'Reading a Poem', a play by William Makepeace Thackeray. Kennedy appears to have had an edition privately printed (the play was originally published serially in 1841). See Reading a Poem, New York, De Vinne Press, 1897. See also C. Whibley to E. G. Kennedy, #09775.

9.  brother
David A. Kennedy, New York dealer, brother of E. G. Kennedy [more].

10.  Lauser
Gustave Lauser (b. ca 1841), London print-seller [more].

11.  Geo. McCulloch
George McCulloch (d. 1915), landscape painter [more]. The engraving and the picture are unidentified.