The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Document associated with: U.S. Customs Office
Record 1 of 1

System Number: 05874
Date: [February/June 1896][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: U. S. Customs
Place: [New York]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler U3
Document Type: ALd

I, the undersigned, J McNeill Whistler, do hereby declare & swear that the two pictures (oil paintings) now h Nocturne & [sic] Black & Gold[2] & Nocturne in Blue & Silver[3] - now most vexatiously held in bond in New York by are my work - painted by me and by nobody else -

I in simple faith, believing that the fact that, The U. S government having announced that all duty upon works of Art had been removed, I, in simple faith, believing that the said U. S. Government meant [t?]hat works of Art should now enter the country without paying tax - refrained from taking Consular papers (for which I should have had to pay the same tax as though the old duty had not been removed) and shipped these two pictures to New York to be claimed by Eddy. Esq (of Chicago)[4] & without the old Consular On my return to Paris I hereby undertake [p. 2] to go to the Consulate and forward, from thence, the certificates now exacted - paying for the same, thereby acknowledging that the same old duty upon pictures does is, as far as I am concerned, still exis in full force -

Meanwhile I beg that this letter be held as guarantee by the Customs authorities and that they will be good enough to release at once my two paintings - and allow give them into the hands of Eddy Esq, or [Esq?] - or his agent Mr. of N. Y.

The value of these two pictures are valued at:

1000gs ["]The Nocturne Black & Gold - The Fire wheel" -
800gs    "    Blue & Silver - Battersea Reach -

[three partial sketches of faces[5]]

[p. 1] 'Dear Nelly[6] Will you'

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [February/June 1896]
Dated from the known history of the paintings (see below).

2.  Nocturne & Black & Gold
Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel (YMSM 169).

3.  Nocturne in Blue & Silver
Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 152). On 4 February 1894 JW offered this to E. G. Kennedy, #09715, and offered to send it on 13 July 1894, #09717; on 25 June 1896 it was sold to Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924), née Stewart, collector [more].

4.  Eddy. Esq (of Chicago)
Arthur Jerome Eddy (1859-1920), writer and collector [more].

5.  sketches of faces
These are by Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

6.  Dear Nelly
An unfinished note addressed probably to Helen ('Nellie') Euphrosyne Whistler (1849-1917), née Ellen Ionides, JW's sister-in-law [more], and written by Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].