The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Exposition Internationale de Peinture, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1883
Record 6 of 10

System Number: 07909
Date: [11 January 1884][1]
Author: JW
Place: St Ives
Recipient: Charles William Deschamps[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/23/6
Document Type: ALS

'11' '8'[3]

Dear Deschamps -

Doubtless I misunderstand all that the broker gentleman says - but certainly my notion of insuring is very different from what I should gather by reading his letter -

I supposed that to insure for a thousand pounds you would have to pay a couple of shillings or so - You know that at the Railway Booking office you can insure against death or accident at the rate of about 4d for a thousand pounds - Then again I know that when [p. 2] the pictures went to Paris for the Rue de Sèze exhibition[4] there was no question whatever made about insuring them or rather no difficulty - so that the whole thing must have been a matter of some few shillings -

Is not perhaps the Broker the wrong person to deal with? Who were the agents that packed and sent the pictures to de Nitis'[5] Exhibition? They insured them at once and without a word - Have you found out if these Brussels people[6] have any agent at all? I think in the Committee's letter to me they say that they will pay the expenses of packing and transport to & from the Exposition - but that I must insure -

Do this for me at as low a rate as possible - but certainly the man cannot mean the ten shillings he speaks of to indicate that he proposes we should pay him five pounds!!! on each picture we insure at a thousand -

I remember Menpes[7] telling me that his furniture is insured for over fifteen hundred pounds and that he paid something under a sovereign for the whole business -

Of course we need only insure Alexanders picture[8] for 300 guineas - Miss Corder[9] for £100 - and Huths[10] for 500 as he says and the little Nocturne[11] for £50 -

The Nocturne[12] I hope for from Liverpool (Chapman's[13]) is the one that was exhibited at the Grosvenor -

From Potter[14] I wanted the 'Little White Girl' - also a Nocturne 'in Blue & Silver' if he will lend it -

For the Catalogue[15] have the titles translated in full - and for the etchings you might [put] 'Eaux fortes de Venise'[16]

Many thanks for all the trouble [p. 3] and do write to say that all is going on well -

Have the ladies[17] been? Send me all news -

Most important to know the time of the latest reception -

Always Yrs

[butterfly signature]

14 Barnoon Terrace
St Ives. Cornwall

'14th Jany 84[18].'

This document is protected by copyright.


Charles Deschamps Esq
1A Old Bond Street
Piccadilly -
[postmark:] ST IVES / CORNWALL / B / JA 11 / 84


1.  [11 January 1884]
Dated from postmark.

2.  Charles William Deschamps
Charles William Deschamps (1848-1908), art dealer [more].

3.  '11' '8'
Written in upper right-hand corner in unknown hands.

4.  Rue de Sèze exhibition
Exposition Internationale de Peinture, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1883.

5.  Nitis'
Giuseppe de Nittis (1846-1884), painter and etcher [more].

6.  these Brussels people
JW eventually sent Symphony in White, No. 3 (YMSM 61), Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Chelsea (YMSM 103), Arrangement in Brown and Black: Portrait of Miss Rosa Corder (YMSM 203), Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (YMSM 129) and Venice etchings to [Exposition], Société des XX (Vingts), Brussels, 1884 (see list by Maus, #07910).

7.  Menpes
Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1860-1938), artist [more].

8.  Alexanders picture
William Cleverly Alexander (1840-1916), banker and patron [more], owned Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (YMSM 129).

9.  Miss Corder
Arrangement in Brown and Black: Portrait of Miss Rosa Corder (YMSM 203).

10.  Huths
Louis Huth (1821-1905), collector [more], owned Symphony in White, No. 3 (YMSM 61).

11.  little Nocturne
Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Chelsea (YMSM 103).

12.  Nocturne
Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Bognor (YMSM 100) had recently been in 7th Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1883.

13.  Chapman's
Alfred Chapman (1839-1917), engineer and collector [more].

14.  Potter
John Gerald Potter (1829-1908), wallpaper manufacturer and patron [more], owner of Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52), and Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights (YMSM 115).

15.  catalogue
A drawing by JW was reproduced in the Les XX catalogue, Paintings for exhibition (M.910).

16.  'Eauxfortes de Venise'
Probably from Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5).

17.  ladies
Possibly Elisabeth, Comtesse Greffulhe (1860-1952), née Riquer de Caraman-Chimay [more], and Isabelle, Comtesse de Paris.

18.  14th Jany 84
Probably the date of receipt, written by Deschamps.