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Little Smithfield

Impression: Colby College Museum of Art, Maine
Colby College Museum of Art, Maine
(061.2007)
Number: 154
Date: 1875
Medium: etching
Size: 136 x 99 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 7
Catalogues: K.160; M.157; W.78
Impressions taken from this plate  (7)

PUBLICATION

It was not published.

EXHIBITIONS

Little Smithfield was first exhibited in 1881 at the Union League Club in New York, lent by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) (). 10 Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) lent an impression ( or ) described as 'A most rare dry point' to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900. 11

It also appeared in print dealer's exhibitions, at H. Wunderlich & Co. (1903) and F. Keppel & Co. (1903) in New York and Obach & Co. in London (1903). 12

After Whistler's death, an impression was included in the comprehensive Grolier Club exhibition in New York in 1904. Finally an impression was lent by King Edward VII to the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905, shortly before it was sold (). 13

10: New York 1881 (cat. no. 107).

11: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 73).

12: See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

13: New York 1904a (cat. no. 81); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 78).

SALES & COLLECTORS

Whistler was probably printing the copper plate with the help of Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890) in 1877, in a desperate attempt to make money. Howell was buying the impressions of 'Smithfield' or 'Smithfield No. 1' at 1.1.0 or 2.2.0 and selling them on when he could; for instance he bought two on 16 November 1877, sold one to the print dealer Jane Noseda (b. 1813 or 1814) and returned the other. 14

Whistler also sent several 'beautiful proofs' including 'Smithfield' at 2.2.0 to Alfred Chapman (1839-1917) on 9 August 1878. 15 It is not known if he kept them.

14: Howell to W, [6-25 November 1877], GUW #02178; Whistler to Howell, 14-16 November [1877], #13668, [16/21 November 1877, #12740; 24 November-8 December [1877] #12742.

15: GUW #07966.

Early collectors included Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) (), Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (1845?-1924) (), and the Royal Library, Windsor (). Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) owned two impressions, one of which he sold to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) in 1901 () and another () which was eventually sold through A. A. Hahlo & Co., New York, to Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937) in 1919.