Sep 20, 2012 - Sale 2286

Sale 2286 - Lot 47

Price Realized: $ 26,400
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
The Boy (Charlie Hanson).

Drypoint printed in black on antique cream laid paper, 1875-76. 226x150 mm; 8 7/8x6 inches, full margins. MacDonald's third state (of 8). MacDonald notes approximately only 12 impressions in all 8 states. Inscribed "On old Dutch paper" in pencil and with an earlier, 17th-century (?) inscription in Dutch in ink, verso (the comparable third state impression MacDonald cites in the Art Institute o
f Chicago, Charles Deering Collection, is also on antique paper with an early Dutch inscription in ink on the verso). Countermark with the letters LL watermark. Ex-collection Howard Mansfield (Lugt 1342, verso). A brilliant, early impression of this extremely scarce drypoint, with richly-inked, velvety burr and strong contrasts.

This impression cited by Kennedy (as his third state) with the Mansfield provenance. Lugt credits Mansfield's Whistler collection, which included some 582 etchings, drypoints and lithographs as one of the top three in the world. Mansfield's collection was sold in 1919 to Harris G. Whittemore, Naugatuck, CT, for between $300,000 and $350,000 (roughly $4.5 million today).

Charles James Whistler Hanson (1870-1935) was Whistler's illegitimate son with Louisa Fanny Hanson, who is said to have been a parlor maid. He was cared for by Joanna Hiffernan, another of Whistler's mistresses, despite the fact that Whistler had been unfaithful to her. Hiffernan continued to look after Hanson as late as 1880, even while Whistler was away in Venice with Maud Franklin, then his current mistress. Whistler's relationship with Hanson was never close; the artist failed to attend his son's wedding in 1896 due to the death of his wife Beatrix, apparently nor did he approve of the union.

We have not found another impression at auction in the past 25 years. Kennedy 135; MacDonald 145 (this impression cited by MacDonald, as exhibited at the "Whistler Memorial Exhibition," Boston, 1904, current whereabouts unknown).