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Petticoat Lane

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 299
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 95 x 134 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 8
Catalogues: K.285; M.281; W.230
Impressions taken from this plate  (8)


Petticoat Lane was not published. However, it is related to Whistler's unpublished but clearly defined 'Houndsditch Set'.


Impressions were exhibited by Grosvenor Thomas & Paterson in Glasgow in 1892, by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898 and 1903, Obach & Co. in London in 1903 and Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) of F. Keppel & Co. in New York in 1904. The impression exhibited by Wunderlich's in 1903 was bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (). 12 Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) lent an impression to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900 (). 13

After Whistler's death, an impression was shown at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, and John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908) lent an impression to the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905. 14

12: New York 1903b (cat. no.180); see REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

13: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 200).

14: New York 1904a (cat. no. 243); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 230).


Two impressions were sold by Whistler to the London print dealer, Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832), for 7.7.0 each, on 29 August and 21 December 1887. 15

Another was sold through Wunderlich's in New York to a relative of Whistler's, Ross Revillon Winans (1850-1912) on 3 May 1888 at the same price. 16

Other early collectors included John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908), Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934) (), Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (), and Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) (), who mentioned that Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935) also owned a first state. 17

15: GUW #13013 and #13017.

16: Wunderlich's to Whistler, GUW #07158.

17: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 281)

Several impressions were in Whistler's studio at his death and bequeathed to his executrix, Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) in 1903. In July 1904 she sold one to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) () who had already bought another state from Wunderlich's (). In 1935 she gave one (the first proof) to the University of Glasgow () and in 1958 she bequeathed another (), which the Hunterian later sold, having also bought another good impression ().