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The Little Wheelwright's

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 261
Date: 1886
Medium: etching
Size: 66 x 98 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 13
Catalogues: K.245; M.242
Impressions taken from this plate  (13)


canal, forge, house, people, wheelwright .


Variations on the title are as follows:

'The Little Wheelwright's' (1904, Grolier Club). 2
' Little Wheelwright ' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 3
'The Little Wheelwright’s' (1910, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 4

'The Little Wheelwright’s' is the earliest recorded and generally accepted title.

2: New York 1904a (cat. no. 294).

3: Mansfield 1909 (cat. no. 242).

4: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 245).


Two adjoining buildings with gable ends, each with a door and side window and a window above, are seen across a canal. Abutting on the building at the left are two low sheds, and next, at far left, figures in a garden behind palings. In front of the buildings are several tyres, a large wheel and a grindstone.


This is probably Dordrecht, a busy sea-port and ferry terminal at the mouth of the Maas in the Netherlands. Whistler often passed through the town and made a number of paintings there between about 1882 and 1902, and several etchings including Dordrecht [259], Little Dordrecht [260] and Barges, Dordrecht [262].


Whistler etched, drew and painted several forges with smiths and wheelwrights, the earliest being The Forge [86], and others including The Little Forge, Liverpool [141], Wheelwright [240], and such lithographs as The Tyresmith [c036], The Smith, Passage du Dragon [c103] and The Smith's Yard [c124], and a later oil, The Little Forge, Lyme Regis [y442].