St James's Place, Houndsditch

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 255
Date: 1886
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 82 x 178 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 8
Catalogues: K.290; M.284; W.232
Impressions taken from this plate  (8)


St James's Place, Houndsditch was not published. However, it forms one of Whistler's unpublished but clearly defined 'Houndsditch Set'.


It was first exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists during Whistler's brief Presidency, in 1887. He must have thought highly of it, and sent it to an international exhibition in Brussels in the following year. 13

In 1900 Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) lent an impression to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago (Graphic with a link to impression #K2900103). 14 Impressions were also seen in print dealers' shows, in New York at H. Wunderlich & Co. (1898 and 1903) and F. Keppel & Co. (1904) and in London at Obach & Co. in 1903. 15

Finally it appeared in the Memorial Exhibitions after Whistler's death, at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, and in London in 1905, to which Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934) lent an impression. 16

13: London RBA 1887-8 (cat. no. 526). See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

14: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 202).

15: New York 1898 (cat. no. 193); New York 1903b (cat. no. 182); London Obach 1903 (cat. no. 193).

16: New York 1904a (cat. no. 245); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 232).


Two impressions listed as 'St James Place', were sold by the artist to the London print dealer, Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832) on 17 November 1887 for £10.10.0 each. 17 Varying titles make it a little hard to follow the sequence of sales. However, two impressions of 'St James Place. Houndsditch' were bought from Whistler by Walter Dowdeswell (1858-1929) for £10.10.0 each, possibly in 1887, and another two definitely in 1888. 18

Also in 1888 Whistler sold an impression of 'St James Place - Houndsditch' to H. Wunderlich & Co. for £10.10.0 (less 20 percent discount). 19 On 1 July 1889 Whistler recorded in stock 'St James Place Houndsditch 2'. 20 In 1899 Wunderlich's. reported that they had sold one 'St James' Place Houndsditch' for £8.8.0. 21

Meanwhile at auction, from the collection of the late Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891) at Sotheby’s, 3 March 1892 (lot 315) described as 'St. James's Palace' [sic], was bought by the London print dealer Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) for £ 1.16.0 (Graphic with a link to impression #K2900102). It was then bought by Clarence Buckingham (1855-1913), and bequeathed eventually by his sisters to the Art Institute of Chicago. Another impression (which had been lent to the Caxton Club in 1900) was bequeathed to the Art Institute by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2900103).

Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought the first proof from Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) of F. Keppel & Co. in New York in 1901 (Graphic with a link to impression #K2900104) and a later state from Obach & Co. in London in 1905 (Graphic with a link to impression #K2900105). Other early collectors included John Henry Wrenn (1841-1911) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2900110) and Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2900109).

In 1903 Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) inherited an impression from Whistler, which she bequeathed to the University of Glasgow (Graphic with a link to impression #K2900106).

17: GUW #13016.

18: Dowdeswell to Whistler, 23 March 1886 and ca 1887, GUW #08678; 1 February 1888, #00900.

19: 3 May 1888, GUW 07158.

20: 18 July 1889, GUW #13235.

21: 24 March1899: Report of Sales, GUW #07305.