|Medium:||etching and drypoint|
|Size:||255 x 179 mm|
|Signed:||'Whistler.' lower right and 'Whistler.' lower left (1); lower left signature faded (2)|
|Inscribed:||'1859.' at lower right|
|Set/Publication:||'Thames Set', 1871|
|No. of States:||2|
|Catalogues:||K.46; M.45; T.38; W.44|
|Impressions taken from this plate (103)|
After publication in 1871, it was shown as 'The Limeburners' by James Anderson Rose (1819-1890) in Liverpool and elsewhere, and by Whistler himself, as 'The Limeburner’s Yard' in London in 1874. 18 In 1879, an impression was exhibited by Craibe Angus in Glasgow. Other print dealer's shows followed, at H. Wunderlich & Co. (1898, 1903) and F. Keppel & Co. in New York and at Obach & Co. in London (1903). Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought one from the 1898 show (). 19
Unusual proofs from connoisseur's collections contributed to exhibitions by clubs such as the Union League Club in New York, lent by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904), in 1881 (), and the Caxton Club in Chicago, lent by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) in 1900 ( or ). 20
It starred in major international exhibitions including Berlin in 1881, the Glasgow International Exhibition in 1888, lent by Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (1845?-1924), 21 the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and the annual exhibitions of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1879 and 1902. Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) lent an impression to the 1902 show, which has not been located (). 22
Finally, impressions featured in the large Whistler Memorial Exhibitions including New York and Boston in 1904 and London in 1905 (lent by the Royal Collection and sold shortly after the show). 23
16: 'The Royal Academy', The Athenaeum, 19 May 1860, p. 685. London RA 1861 (cat. no. 943).
17: London Thomas 1861.
19: New York 1898 (cat. no. 41). See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.
21: Glasgow 1888 (cat. no. 2552-2).
SALES & COLLECTORS
Of the early impressions of the first state, the artist gave one to his mother () and another to a friend, James Reeves Traer (ca 1834- d.1867) ()'. 25 He inscribed others to George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909) () and an 'early proof -' to William Cleverly Alexander (1840-1916) (). However the most notable person to acquire an impression was Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (1834-1917) ().
Among public collections, the British Museum acquired one in 1874 (); and Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892) sold one ('Der Kalkbrenner') to the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, in 1882 (). E.D. Wallace (fl. 1871-1887), American, poet, novelist and writer on art, reported in detail on a visit to the British Museum to see Whistler's works:
24: V&A Register of Prints, p. 32.
25: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 44), noted incorrectly that this was inscribed to C. L. Freer.
28: The Academy, 30 January 1886, p. 82.
Some years later, Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought a first state from Wunderlich's in January 1890 () and another, from the collection of Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910), in 1898 (). Second states on the whole went to U.S. galleries, and at a later date; for instance one from the collection of Henry F. Sewall (1816-1896) was purchased by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Harvey D. Parker Collection, in 1897 (). In Britain, a fine impression was acquired by Constantine Alexander Ionides (1833-1900) and bequeathed to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in 1901 () and another was among fifteen etchings presented by the Trustees of the Public Picture Gallery Fund to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in June 1904 ().
29: Sotheby's, 22 April 1887 (lot 193); Christie's, 3 March 1892 (lots 94-5).