Battersea: Early Morning

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 157
Date: 1875
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 115 x 229 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 22
Catalogues: K.152; M.149; W.129
Impressions taken from this plate  (22)


It was published in an album of Cancelled Plates ('Cancelled Set') by The Fine Art Society, London, 1879.


Battersea: Early Morning was very rare, except for cancelled impressions, and was not exhibited, as far as is known, until 1903. An early impression was exhibited by Obach & Co., in London in 1903 and bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520102). 5

5: London Obach 1903 (cat. no. 106). See REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

After Whistler's death, another was shown at the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905, lent by John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908). 6

6: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 129).


Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921) noted in 1886: 'Mr. Menpes has a trial proof before the faint indication of the little bridge at the extreme right of the plate.' 7 This impression, from the collection of Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1860-1938) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520102), was bought from Obach & Co. by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) in 1903, together with another print (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520202).

7: Wedmore 1886 A (cat. no. 129).

Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) noted in the ledger of H. Wunderlich & Co. that he knew of three impressions of what he called 'The Troubled Thames': one was recorded as sold by 'Ballantine to Frelinghuysen', priced at $390, and two second states were owned by Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520201), and Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937), priced at $200. 8 The latter was probably an impression of the third state, owned originally by Benedict, and later by Whittemore, which was given by Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971) to the National Gallery of Art in 1949 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520302).

8: Ledger, Colby College, Maine.

Sets including the cancelled impression of Battersea: Early Morning were bought by several collectors. George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909) bought a set, which passed eventually to the Baltimore Museum of Art (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520406). The British Museum acquired a set in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520407). Another was acquired in the same year, 1887, by Thomas Glen Arthur (1858-1907) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520413). Yet another was bought at the Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892) sale in 1889 by Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) for £0.6.0. 9 This was later acquired by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), who bequeathed it to the University of Glasgow, 1958 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520404).

Freer bought a cancelled set in 1893, which he bequeathed to the Freer Gallery of Art (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520402). J. Littauer (fl. 1896) of Munich sold another set to the Hamburger Kunsthalle, in 1896 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520410). In Paris, Alfred Strölin sold a fine set to Jacques Doucet in 1907, which he gave to the Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet in 1918 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1520414).

9: Sotheby's, 13 December 1889 (lot 787 or 789).