Little Arthur – a third state, and a fifth



James Whistler (1834-1903), Little Arthur, etching, 1857-8, 2 impressions. Reference: Kennedy 9, 3rd state and 5th state (of 5), Glasgow 8, third state, and fourth (of 4). Both impressions in very good condition, with margins. State 3: 3 1/4 x 2 13/16, the sheet 8 1/4 x 6 5/8; State 5: 2 1/4 x 2, the sheet 4 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches. Both on laid paper.

Provenance: ex Collection Melvin Zapata

State 3: Marcel Louis Guerin (with his stamp lower left recto, Lugt 1872b)

P and D Colnaghi and Company, London (with their stock number in pencil verso c22731 over MSX).

State 5: with stock numbers B19622 and NR 29770 in pencil verso.

Fine impresssions of both prints; state 5 in dark brown, state 3 in black.

Arthur is the youngest child of Seymour Haden, Whistler’s brother in law. It is one of the etchings of Haden’s family done at the outset of Whistler’s etching career, and the beginning of a period of collaboration between Haden and Whistler. These prints are rare in early states, intended for circulation only within the family – there are only 2 impressions known of the first, 2 of the second state, and about 10 of the third state.

It appears that the print entered the French State in the third state,with the addition of the ‘Imp. Delâtre. Rue St. Jacques. 171’ at lower left, and was included in editions of the French Set printed by Delatre. The plate was reduced and altered after Whistler and Haden  undertook printing of impressions for the French Set.

$14,000 the pair