Edmund Thomas, the son of Serjeant Ralph Thomas, was a dealer and print publisher at 39 Old Bond Street in London. His brother Percy was a painter and etcher. His other brother Ralph was a law partner of JW's solicitor J. A. Rose.
In 1873 his brother Ralph had bought The Forge (K.68) for £3.10.0 (#10628). The following year he published the first catalogue of JW's etchings, the frontispiece of which, Arrangement in Grey: Portrait of the Painter (YMSM 122), was etched by Percy. In 1874 JW asked Ralph to supply him with two small plates for his new etching, possibly Reading a book (K.111), Tatting (K.112) or The Muff (K.113), prepared by Percy or the printer Auguste Delâtre (#10892).
Ralph Thomas set up his son Edmund as a dealer in Bond Street and planned for JW to hold his first one-man exhibition of etchings in this gallery. It was in 1874 that Edmund Thomas held an exhibition of The Works of James Whistler, Etchings and Drypoints in his Bond Street gallery (#00172).
Thomas, Ralph, A Catalogue of the Etchings and Dry-points of James Abbott MacNeil [sic] Whistler, London and New York, 1874; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980.