Old Battersea Bridge, No. 2

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 275
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 128 x 178 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 4
Catalogues: K.311; M.305; W.225
Impressions taken from this plate  (4)


Old Battersea Bridge, No. 2 was not published.


An impression was for sale in an exhibition at H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898. 11 Impressions were lent both by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3110102) and Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3110104) to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club, Chicago, in 1900. 12

After Whistler's death, one was shown at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, and, in London, Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934) lent one to the Whistler Memorial exhibition in 1905 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3110103). 13

11: New York 1898 (cat. no. 204). See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

12: Chicago 1900 (cat. nos. 195 and 195a).

13: New York 1904a (cat. no. 237); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 225).


On 21 December 1887, and again on 11 February 1888 Whistler sold impressions of what he called 'Old Battersea No. 3' to the London print dealer Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832) for £10.10.0. 14 Walter Dowdeswell (1858-1929) also bought impressions at this price. 15 However, it is not entirely certain that these sales refer to Old Battersea Bridge, No. 2.

14: GUW #13017, #13018.

15: W. Dowdeswell to Whistler, 1 February 1888, GUW #00900.

Sales to Wunderlich's of New York followed at £10.10.0 and then £12.12.0, and to the Fine Art Society, London, in 1889, for some reason at half price, at £6.6.0. 16 Again it is not absolutely certain these all refer to the same etching

Whistler's prices were much higher than the only one recorded in his lifetime at auction, on 3 March 1892 at Sotheby's (lot 324), when an impression from the collection of the late Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891) was bought by another print dealer Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) for £3.10.0.

16: 3 and 14 May 1888, GUW #07158, #13659; [27 March 1889], #13000.

Good, rare impressions gravitated to major public collections. One impression was bought by Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3110103); this passed to Clarence Buckingham (1855-1913) and thence to the Art Institute of Chicago. Another was bequeathed to the same institution by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3110102). Two were bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) in 1906 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3110104, Graphic with a link to impression #K3110105) from Messrs Obach & Co. and were bequeathed to the Freer Gallery of Art.