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Rag Shop, Milman's Row, Chelsea

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 329
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 153 x 229 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper right
Inscribed: illegible inscription at lower left
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 12
Catalogues: K.272; M.267
Impressions taken from this plate  (12)


Rag-shop, Milman’s Row, Chelsea was not published. Good reproductions of it, however, were published in The Scottish Art Review in March 1889 and the Supplement to The Architectural Review Art Annual in December 1898, in the latter under the title 'An Old Clothes Shop'. 12

12: GUL PC21/41, 49.


It was not exhibited much in Whistler's lifetime. It was shown in a print dealer's show, by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898, and in the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900, lent by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (). 13

Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) lent an impression of Rag Shop, Milman’s Row, Chelsea to a mixed show at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1902 and to the Whistler Memorial exhibitions in Boston in 1904 and London in 1905 (). 14

13: New York 1898 (cat. no. 177); Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 309); see REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

14: Philadelphia 1902 (cat. no. 947 [269]); Boston 1904 (cat. no. 164); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 291).


Whistler handled sales to art dealers and patrons himself. Both Charles John Knowles (1840-1900) and Samuel Joshua (1833 or 1834 - d. 1907) bought impressions of 'Milman's Row (large)' from Whistler in 1889 for 10.10.0 (a sum that would have bought practically everything on view in the shop). 15 Knowles's impression was bequeathed by Guy John Fenton Knowles (1879-1959) to the Fitzwilliam Museum (). Sales may well have been boosted by a reproduction of the etching published in The Scottish Art Review in March 1889 and in The Architectural Review Art Annual in 1898.

15: 17 February 1889, GUW #13050; 14 June 1889, #13036.

The British Museum bought one in 1890 (); Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought another impression from Obach & Co. in 1903 (); other collectors included Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) by 1900 () and Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) by 1902 (, ). Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) inherited three from Whistler's estate; she gave one () and bequeathed two more (, ) to the University of Glasgow.