Melon Shop, Houndsditch

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 355
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 128 x 178 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 5
Known impressions: 10
Catalogues: K.293; M.288
Impressions taken from this plate  (10)


Melon Shop, Houndsditch was not published. However, it forms one of Whistler's unpublished but clearly defined 'Houndsditch Set'.


It was rarely exhibited in Whistler's lifetime. One was shown by the New York print dealers H. Wunderlich & Co. in 1898, and Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) lent one to the Caxton Club exhibition in Chicago in 1900 (Graphic with a link to impression #K2930302). 12

Impressions of Melon Shop, Houndsditch also appeared in the Memorial shows after Whistler's death. One was shown in the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) lent impressions of the first and second state to the Boston Memorial Exhibition in 1904 (Graphic with a link to impression #K2930101, Graphic with a link to impression #K2930205) and Messrs F. Keppel & Co. lent one to the London show in 1905. 13

12: New York 1898 (cat. no. 192); Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 305); see REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

13: Boston 1904 (cat. nos. 199, 200); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 281).


Whistler started by selling it to print dealers - one to Wunderlich's of New York on 29 June 1888 and another to Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) of F. Keppel & Co. on 2 July 1888 for £10.10.0. 14 Over ten years later, Whistler sold one to Wunderlich's in 1899 for £8.8.0, and to the London print dealer Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) for £10.10.0 in 1902. 15

Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought an impression of the second state from Wunderlich's in 1892 (Graphic with a link to impression #K2930202). Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) owned a first and second state (Graphic with a link to impression #K2930101, Graphic with a link to impression #K2930205). Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) owned an impresion of the third state by 1900, almost certainly bought from Wunderlich's (Graphic with a link to impression #K2930302).

14: GUW #13052, #13063.

15: 24 March 1899, GUW #07305; 24 December 1902, #13040.