Clothes-Exchange, Houndsditch, No. 1

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 358
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 162 x 242 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 12
Catalogues: K.287; M.282; W.231
Impressions taken from this plate  (12)


Clothes Exchange, Houndsditch, No. 1 was not published. However, it forms one of Whistler's unpublished but clearly defined 'Houndsditch Set'.


It was first shown in Paris at the Exposition Universelle in 1889, with the elaborate title 'Clothes Exchange No. 1, Jew's Quarter, London'. 18

It was shown in two print dealer's shows, by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898 and 1903. Two impressions were shown in the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900, one of which was lent by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2870203), and the other by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2870204). 19

It was also exhibited with the title, 'Clothes Exchange, No. 1' in the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1902, lent by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), who lent it a couple of years later to the Whistler Memorial show in Boston. 20

18: Paris Exp. Univ. 1889 (cat. no. 419)

19: Chicago 1900 (cat. nos. 201, 201a); see REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

20: Philadelphia 1902 (cat. no. 947 (270)); Boston 1904 (cat. no. 202).

It was finally shown in the principal Memorial exhibitions including New York and Boston in 1904, and an impression from the collection of King Edward VII was shown in the Whistler Memorial show in London in 1905, as 'Old Clothes Exchange'. 21

21: New York 1904a (cat. no. 244); Boston 1904 (cat. no. 202); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 231).


Clothes Exchange, Houndsditch, No. 1 seems to have been consistently popular with London print dealers. Whistler sold four impressions to Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832), in 1887 for £42.0.0; and three to Messrs Dowdeswell for £37.16.0 in 1888. 22

The price to most buyers was £12.12.0. Whistler offered one to the Glasgow art dealer Craibe Angus, but it is not certain if this was accepted, and sold impressions to H. Wunderlich & Co. of New York and Roland F. Knoedler (1856-1932) in 1888, as well as to private owners such as Charles John Knowles (1840-1900), and Samuel Joshua (1833 or 1834 - d. 1907), in 1889. 23

Among other early collections, that of Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891), was of prime importance. At the auction at Sotheby's on 3 March 1892 (lot 328) an impression of what was termed 'The Cloth Exchange, No. 1' sold for quite a low price, £2.15.0 to Edmund F. Deprez (1851-1915) of Deprez & Gutekunst, which was much less than the sums Whistler was getting.

22: To McLean, 17 November 1887, GUW #13016; to Dowdeswell, 10 February 1888, #13027.

23: C .J. W. Hanson to Angus, 16 December 1887, GUW #01959; G. Dieterlen to Whistler, 3 May 1888, #07158; Whistler to Knoedler, 27 July 1888, #13660; to Knowles, 17-9 February 1889, #13050; to Joshua, 14 June 1889, #13036.

Sales continued sporadically, with a single impression sold by Whistler to Messrs Dowdeswell, and one to the South Kensington Museum in 1890 (which was received with scant enthusiasm and returned on 21 August 1890) plus further impressions to Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) of Wunderlich's, who got a lower, discounted, price (£10.10.0). 24

Meanwhile, Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), bought a good impression in 1889 (Graphic with a link to impression #K2870204). Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934), in London, also owned a fine impression, possibly bought from Dowdeswell's, with whom he had a close relationship (Graphic with a link to impression #K2870202). This and a similar impression from the collection of Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916), came ultimately to the Art Institute of Chicago (Graphic with a link to impression #K2870203).

24: Whistler to Dowdeswell, 6 March 1890, GUW #13805; Kennedy to Whistler, 24 September 1897, #07287; Wunderlich to Whistler, 24 March 1899, #07305.