The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Gray, John Miller
Record 3 of 3

System Number: 11751
Date: 20 October 1888
Author: J. M. Gray[1]
Place: Edinburgh
Recipient: Algernon Graves[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 14/1363/8
Document Type: TLc



28, Gayfield Square,

20th Oct. 88.


Dear Sir,

Thanks very much for your letter of 15th inst.

The possible purchaser of the Whistler "Carlyle[3]", of whom I spoke, is in India, and it will be at least six weeks before a reply can be received from him: but my and his friend here, who is interesting himself in the matter, is to write him by next post, leaving on Thursday, to state that if he makes an offer for the portrait of £400 (Four hundred pounds) there is every reason to believe that that offer will be accepted.

I may mention that the picture would not leave the country, but is intended for presentation to the above gallery. I mention this to you in confidence, as nothing may in the end come of this matter, as I don't know whether or not the price stated will meet the gentleman's views. You can, if you like, mention anything I have said to Mr. Whistler, if you think it would influence him to look favourably upon the affair, but be careful, as he is a very difficult personage to deal with, and, as we know from the previous negotiations regarding this same picture, (p. 2) very little may cause him to fly off at a tangent.

If anything else strikes you in connection with the affair, please let me know by return.

Yours sincerely

(Signed) J. M. Gray.

A.H. Graves Esq.,
6, Pall Mall,

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  J. M. Gray
John Miller Gray (1850-1894), of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh [more]. According to a note at the top of the sheet, this was copied from J. M. Gray's Private Letter Book.

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

3.  Carlyle
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137). JW raised the price and it was eventually sold to Glasgow Corporation in 1891.