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The Muff

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 131
Date: 1874
Medium: drypoint
Size: 126 x 75 mm
Signed: butterfly at right (3-final)
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 11
Catalogues: K.113; M.112; W.126
Impressions taken from this plate  (11)


clothing, dress, fur, fashion, hat, muff, portrait, woman seated.


The title has been consistent, as in the following examples:

'THE MUFF' (1880, Dowdeswell). 2
'Muff' (1877, Whistler). 3
'The Muff' (1885/1887, Whistler). 4
'The Muff' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 5

2: Dowdeswell to C. A. Howell, GUW #02856.

3: To C. A. Howell, 12 October-5 November [1877], GUW #12735.

4: Written on .

5: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 126).


A three-quarter length portrait of a lady seated facing to the right, wearing a hat trimmed with feathers and a dark jacket edged with fur. She holds in her lap a muff upon which rests her right hand. There is shading in the background. The figure is lit from the right.


The sitter has not been identified.


This is one of several portraits of fashionably dressed young women, including The Velvet Dress (Mrs Leyland) 120, The Little Velvet Dress 119, Tatting 130, Maud, Standing 169 and Fanny Leyland 135.
Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921) responded to the portrait's charm:
'A young woman seated, having come to pay a morning call, and meaning to be pleasant ... A scarce little dry-point, of elegant and refined triviality - if, indeed, it is to be trivial to be entirely of our day.' 6