Mrs Leyland, Sr.

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 123
Date: 1874/1875
Medium: drypoint
Size: 229 x 153 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 19
Catalogues: K.103; M.104; W.227
Impressions taken from this plate  (19)


It was published in an album of Cancelled Plates ('Cancelled Set') by The Fine Art Society, London, 1879.


It was extremely rare, and no exhibitions are recorded until 1898, when an impression was exhibited by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York and sold to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1030301). 7 Later an impression was shown at the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900, lent by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1030202). 8

After Whistler's death, one was shown in the comprehensive exhibition at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904. 9 An impression was also shown at the Whistler Memorial exhibition in 1905. 10

7: New York 1898 (cat. no. 83).

8: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 197).

9: New York 1904a (cat. no. 101).

10: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 227).


Whistler sold an impression in 1877 to Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890) for only £1.1.0; and at the same time sold him an impression of the drypoint portrait of Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), Whistler's Mother [103]. 11

11: 9-11 November 1877, GUW #12738.

At auction in 1892, an impression from the collection of the late Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891) was bought by the print dealer Edmund F. Deprez (1851-1915) of Deprez & Gutekunst for a substantial amount, £13.0.0. 12

12: Sotheby's, 3 March 1892 (lot 145).

Of the three impressions recorded, one was owned by Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910), and was sold through Wunderlich's in 1898, when it was bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1030301). Another was recorded by Kennedy in 1910 as owned by John Henry Wrenn (1841-1911), but has not been located (Graphic with a link to impression #K1030102). 13 The third was acquired by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), and later, Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937), and eventually returned home, being bought in 1987 by the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (Graphic with a link to impression #K1030202).

13: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 103).

Freer also bought a set of cancelled impressions from Keppel & Co. in New York in 1893 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1030401). Known cancelled impressions are almost all from, or still in, the album of cancelled plates. For instance, the British Museum bought an album in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1030407), as did Thomas Glen Arthur (1858-1907) in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1030412) which later went to Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Boston Public Library also acquired a set (Graphic with a link to impression #K1030402). A set acquired by J. Littauer, Munich, was sold to the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 1896 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1030409).
Prices were low but collectors and collections were keen to have the set of cancelled etchings, as a record of a substantial number of otherwise unrecorded etchings and drypoints. A set, probably acquired from the Fine Art Society by Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892), was auctioned in 1889 and bought by Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) for £0.6.0. 14 Dunthorne exchanged it for other works with Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) who bequeathed it to the University of Glasgow (Graphic with a link to impression #K1030405). She acquired another set, trimmed the impressions and stuck them on the envelopes containing the copper plates (i.e. Graphic with a link to impression #K1030410).

14: Sotheby's, London, 13 December 1889 (lot 787 or 789).