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Confections pour Dames

Impression: Whistler Etchings Project
Whistler Etchings Project
Number: 475
Date: 1893/1894
Medium: etching
Size: 225 x 130 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper centre
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.-; M.-; T.-; W.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)


building, façade, fashion, shop-front, street.


The shop sign provides the title:

'CONFECTION[S] POUR DAMES DE TAIL[LE] GROS[SE]' (1888/1893, J. McN.Whistler). 1
'French Houses ' (1935, Hunterian Art Gallery).
'Confections pour Dames' (2011, Whistler Etching Project).

The copper plates came with Whistler's estate to Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) who gave them to the University of Glasgow in 1935. 'French Houses' was the descriptive title recorded by the Hunterian Art Gallery, and this title may have been originally provided by Miss Philip. However, the first words of the shop-sign provide a more precise title, 'Confections pour Dames'. The writing on the shop sign is not absolutely clear.

1: Written on copper plate, Hunterian Art Gallery.


A street scene, with a row of two- and three-storey buildings in the distance, drawn parallel to the edges of the copper plate. A man is standing at centre right. The building has shuttered windows, and behind it is a tower or possibly a row of taller buildings, with tall chimneys. A large sign above the shop is partly illegible but may read 'LA BINA...' or 'LA RINA...'; a smaller sign below this reads 'CONFECTION[S] POUR DAMES DE TAIL[LE] GROS[SE'.


This was probably drawn in Paris, but it could have been drawn elsewhere in France. 'Confections pour Dames' implies that it was a shop selling items for women, including clothes and accessories; the second part of the sign appears to say 'de taille grosse', apparently meaning that it was a shop for large ladies, which may have suited Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896), who was plump.