The Little Hat

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 366
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 100 x 67 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 8
Catalogues: K.335; M.331
Impressions taken from this plate  (8)


The Little Hat was not published.


It was first shown in a print dealer's exhibition, at H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898, and later at Obach & Co. in London in 1903. 9 Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) lent one to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club show in Chicago in 1900 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3350102). 10

After Whistler's death, an impression also appeared in the comprehensive Grolier Club show in New York in 1904, and John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908) lent another to the Whistler Memorial show in London in 1905. 11

9: New York 1898; see REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

10: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 301).

11: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 306); New York 1904a (cat. no. 332).


The first sale of what Whistler called simply 'Hat' was to the London print dealer Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832) on 17 November 1887 for £6.6.0, and during the next two years Whistler sold impressions to Roland F. Knoedler (1856-1932) and the Fine Art Society, London, at £6.6.0 each. 12 One of these was almost certainly sold by the F.A.S. to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), given that 'Little Hat' is numbered '18' in the F.A.S. account, and Freer's impression is numbered '18' on the verso (Graphic with a link to impression #K3350103). 13

Wunderlich's of New York wrote to Whistler on 3 May 1888 with a 'List of Etchings forwarded to Mr Ross Winans 1217 St Paul St. Balt[imore] Md.' that included 'The Little Hat', priced at £6.6.0. The collector was Ross Revillon Winans (1850-1912), a relative of Whistler's. In 1897 Wunderlich's (by then Whistler's principal American dealers) wrote that they had one 'Little hat' in stock, and in 1900, that ''The little hat' had been sold for £4.4.0. 14 It is likely that the later sale was to Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3350102).

12: Whistler to McLean, GUW #13016; to Knoedler, 27 July 1888, #13660; to F.A.S., [October 1887/1888], #01216, and 27 March 1889, #13000.

13: 27 March 1889, GUW #01210.

14: GUW #07158; [August 1897], #07289; 24 March 1899, #07305; 6 April 1900, #07322.

On 8 June 1903, shortly before Whistler's death, one was sold for a much higher price - £10.10.0 - to Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) the London print dealer. 15

Finally, after Whistler's death in 1903 two impressions were inherited by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) who bequeathed them to the University of Glasgow (Graphic with a link to impression #K3350106, Graphic with a link to impression #K3350104).

15: 17 June 1903, GUW #13042.