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The Dray Horse

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 292
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 84 x 52 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.247; M.436
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)
The copper plate has no maker's stamp, but is close in size to Dieppe 251, The Tow-Path 325, Little Steps, Chelsea 269 and Little Chelsea (Memorial) 315, and to a slightly later plate, Trixie (Mrs Beatrice Whistler) 470.
The plate was cancelled with crossed diagonal lines, probably in 1891. Whistler discussed with Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) the possibility of printing one or two impressions from cancelled plates so that prospective buyers could see that no further prints were possible. Whistler's 'secretary' William Bell wrote when Kennedy visited London in June 1891: 'in accordance with his intentions expressed to you the other day, Mr Whistler has already destroyed a great number of the plates in question, and herewith sends you the proofs as an interesting fact of reference - ' 11

11: W. Bell to E.G. Kennedy, 8 June 1891, GUW #09674.

Others cancelled at this time, and in the same way, include Little Steps, Chelsea 269, Gates, City, London 280, Petticoat Lane 299, Salvation Army, Sandwich 319, The Ramparts, Sandwich 324, The Tow-Path 325 and Little Nude Figure 330.
The plate was in Whistler's studio at his death and was bequeathed to Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), who gave it to the University of Glasgow in 1935.