The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 'Black and White', Exhibition, Manchester, 1879
Record 2 of 2

System Number: 08612
Date: [May/June 1879][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Walter Dowdeswell[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Rare Books and Manuscripts Division
Document Type: ALS[3]

No - I have still for you the plate[4] I spoke to Mr Dowdeswell [5]this morning about - perfectly fresh - and unknown to the public no proofs out except one I am going to send to the Manchester Exhibition of Black & White[6] which would of course be to your benefit in case you went in for it - The plate is a beauty (as far as I am concerned) [p. 2] quite as important as the one Hogarth[7] has acquired, and a little larger - In point of fact I consider my chef d'oeuvre altogether - and if you are going to do any thing at all of this kind you could not have a better chance - Come and judge for yourself tomorrow at 11.30 -or this afternoon while still light -

Or better still - here I send it to you, and will call tomorrow morning on my way at 10. o'clock to hear your decision -

I want 110. guineas for it and 6 proofs for myself -

Recollect there are none sold as yet - but you will kindly let me know tomorrow as on Sunday mornings[8] lots of people come here and are always on this kind of thing -

You could easily sell the proofs at 6 or 7. guineas -

Sincerely Yours

J A McN Whistler

[p. 3] I send also [right?] now

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [May/June 1879]
Dated from reference to the exhibition in Manchester (see below).

2.  Walter Dowdeswell
Walter Dowdeswell (1858-1929), art dealer [more].

3.  ALS
Neither Dowdeswell's letter nor his reply have been traced.

4.  plate
This is probably one of two etching plates that were also offered to The Fine Art Society, who bought first Old Putney Bridge (K.178) and then Old Battersea Bridge (K.177), and received proofs in early August (#01102, #02988). Dowdeswells eventually bought two of JW's plates through C. A. Howell, Two Ships (K.148) and Tatting (K.112), which they published in 1880 (#02856). However, they are not as large and elaborate as is implied by JW's letter.

5.  Mr Dowdeswell
Charles William Dowdeswell (1832-1915), art dealer [more].

6.  Manchester Exhibition of Black & White
'Black and White', Exhibition, Manchester, 1879.

7.  Hogarth
The 'Adam and Eve', Old Chelsea (K.175) was published by J. Hogarth and Sons, London print dealers, in 1879.

8.  Sunday mornings
JW's 'Sunday breakfasts' were a culinary and social triumph, and JW used the opportunity to promote his work (see #09278).