The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Loan Exhibition, Scottish National Portraits, Board of Manufactures, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 1884
Record 5 of 8

System Number: 01813
Date: 11 October 1884
Author: Algernon Graves[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler G179
Document Type: ALS

[coat of arms with crown and shield]


Octr 11th 1884

Dear Mr Whistler

I showed your letter to my father[2] and he does not wish me to forward it to Edinburgh as the Carlyle portrait[3] was not offered to the National portrait Gallery but only seen here by the Director[4] -

As regards the proposed alteration in the price [p. 2] you fixed for the picture namely four hundred guineas - my father does not seem inclined to agree to it, under existing circumstances[.] The arrangement that we made when we agreed to sell the picture to you was that we were to hold it until it was paid for and that if we could sell it for 400 Gs we were to do so. - This proposed alteration in price - lessens the chance of [p. 3] selling the picture and of course postpones the payment of the balance of the purchase money and interest -

My father says that if you like to pay the balance (250£)[5] due on the picture you can then ask any price you like and let it go to America

I remain
Yours faithfully

Algernon Graves

J McN Whistler Esq

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Algernon Graves
Algernon Graves (1845-1922), of H. Graves and Co., print dealers [more].

2.  your letter to my father
JW wrote to Henry Graves (1806-1892), print dealer and founder of H. Graves and Co. [more], on 10 October [1884] (#10918).

3.  Carlyle portrait
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137), of Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), historian and philosopher [more], had been on exhibition in Loan Exhibition, Scottish National Portraits, Board of Manufactures, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 1884.

4.  Director
Sir George Scharf (1820-1895), archaeological painter and Director of the National Portrait Gallery [more].

5.  pay the balance (250£)
On 30 September 1878, Henry Graves and Co. lent JW £120 on the security of the portrait of Carlyle. By 9 February 1881 JW owed them £300 of which he then repaid £50 as a down payment on the re-purchase of the painting (#01801). JW later sold the painting to Glasgow Corporation in April 1891 for 1000 guineas.