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Lindsey Houses

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 161
Date: 1876/1877
Medium: drypoint
Size: 153 x 230 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 25
Catalogues: K.166; M.162; W.136
Impressions taken from this plate  (25)


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


Lindsey Houses was fairly rare and rarely exhibited, and as a drypoint was perhaps intended for particular connoisseurs and collectors. An impression owned by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) was certainly exhibited to connoisseurs at the Union League Club in New York in 1881 (). 13

An impression from the collection of Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910) was shown by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898 and bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (). 14 Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) lent one to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900. 15

Others were shown in the Memorial Exhibitions after Whistler's death, at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, in Paris in 1905, and in London in 1905. 16

13: New York 1881 (cat. no. 146). See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

14: New York 1898 (cat. no. 115).

15: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 120).

16: New York 1904a (cat. no. 138); Paris Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 346); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 136).


Priced at £6.6.0, it was sold by Whistler to the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, to print dealers - Messrs Hogarth and the Fine Art Society - and to Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890). 17 Howell played a distinctive role in urging and assisting Whistler to print his copper plates. He acted as intermediary between Whistler and some print dealers, like Jane Noseda (b. 1813 or 1814). According to Whistler:

17: [19/22 October 1877], GUW #12736; 22-27 October [1877], #12737; 10 October 1877, #12734.

'In the afternoons Howell would go and see Mr Graves, the print seller, and there were orders flying about, and cheques - it was all amazing, you know! Howell profited, of course. But he was so superb. One evening we had left a pile of eleven prints just pulled, and the next morning only five were there. 'It's very strange!' Howell said, 'we must have a search. No one could have taken them but me, and that, you know, is impossible!'" 18
It was rarely seen on the open market, although an impression from the collection of the late Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891) was sold at Sotheby's, 3 March 1892 (lot 218) and bought by the print dealer Edmund F. Deprez (1851-1915) of Deprez & Gutekunst for only £4.0.0.
Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) bought an impression of the third state, which was signed by Whistler, probably at Avery's request, about 1879 (). Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought one from the cancelled set in 1893 (), followed by the first proof, originally from the collection of Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910), which Freer bought from Wunderlich's in New York in 1898 () and finally, a third state in 1905 (). Other early collectors included Margaret Selkirk Watson Parker (1867-1936) () and Clarence Buckingham (1855-1913) ().
Sets including the cancelled impression of Lindsay Houses 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 (). Thomas Glen Arthur (1858-1907) acquired a set in the same year, 1887 (). Freer bought a set from Knoedler & Co. in 1893 (). 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; 19 this was later acquired by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), who bequeathed it to the University of Glasgow (). 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 ().

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