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Battersea: Early Morning

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 157
Date: 1875
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 115 x 229 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 22
Catalogues: K.152; M.149; W.129
Impressions taken from this plate  (22)


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


Battersea: Early Morning was very rare, except for cancelled impressions, and was not exhibited, as far as is known, until 1903. An early impression was exhibited by Obach & Co., in London in 1903 and bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (). 5

5: London Obach 1903 (cat. no. 106). See REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

After Whistler's death, another was shown at the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905, lent by John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908). 6

6: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 129).


Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921) noted in 1886: 'Mr. Menpes has a trial proof before the faint indication of the little bridge at the extreme right of the plate.' 7 This impression, from the collection of Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1860-1938) (), was bought from Obach & Co. by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) in 1903, together with another print ().

7: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 129).

Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) noted in the ledger of H. Wunderlich & Co. that he knew of three impressions of what he called 'The Troubled Thames': one was recorded as sold by 'Ballantine to Frelinghuysen', priced at $390, and two second states were owned by Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935) (), and Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937), priced at $200. 8 The latter was probably an impression of the third state, owned originally by Benedict, and later by Whittemore, which was given by Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971) to the National Gallery of Art in 1949 ().

8: Ledger, Colby College, Maine.

Sets including the cancelled impression of Battersea: Early Morning were bought by several collectors. George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909) bought a set, which passed eventually to the Baltimore Museum of Art (). The British Museum acquired a set in 1887 (). Another was acquired in the same year, 1887, by Thomas Glen Arthur (1858-1907) (). Yet another was bought at the Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892) sale in 1889 by Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) for £0.6.0. 9 This was later acquired by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), who bequeathed it to the University of Glasgow, 1958 ().

Freer bought a cancelled set in 1893, which he bequeathed to the Freer Gallery of Art (). J. Littauer (fl. 1896) of Munich sold another set to the Hamburger Kunsthalle, in 1896 (). In Paris, Alfred Strölin sold a fine set to Jacques Doucet in 1907, which he gave to the Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet in 1918 ().

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