The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: forgery
Record 4 of 9

System Number: 07449
Date: [1891/1892][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: [unknown][2]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler X23a
Document Type: ALdS[3]

Dear Sir -

Our mutual friend Mr. Bancroft[4] in speaking to me the other day of the very few works of mine that have gone to America, mentioned one that he had seen in your possession - The description of the picture frame as well as of the frame picture convinced me at once that it the whole thing is a forgery - .

I trust that you will kindly help me to trace this matter to it's source - that this sort of imposture may be put a stop to. - that

If you will send me a photograph of the picture and of the frame - together with perhaps a sketch of the ornamentation upon the frame - Also will you send me copy of bill you paid to the dealer who sold it to you?

I shall put the matter in the hands of my Lawyers Messrs Lewis & Lewis[5], and who will punish the scoundrely who [is?] swindler and make him return the money to you in full -

This matter is especially galling to me, for in all such spurious traffic, in my case, is built upon the supposed element of "excentricity" is made an easy greatly depended upon in effecting the sale - Indeed there is often no attempt even at ordinary imitation! It is supposed to be enough that something strange should be found in the work - and that some abominations should be painted upon the frame, in order that the work should pass for a "Whistler."

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1.  [1891/1892]
Dated by known association of JW and Bancroft.

2.  [unknown]
An unidentified collector.

3.  ALdS
On the verso is the draft of a letter to W. Heinemann, #12703.

4.  Mr. Bancroft
John Chandler Bancroft (1822-1907), politician, diplomat and collector [more].

5.  Messrs Lewis & Lewis
Sir George Henry Lewis (1833-1911), society lawyer [more], and George James Graham Lewis (1868-1927), junior partner of Lewis & Lewis, solicitors [more].