Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

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Abbreviations & Glossary

Margaret MacDonald

Abbreviations     ^

C: Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds. Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998.
ca: circa (of about this date).
cm: centimetres.
FAS: The Fine Art Society, London.
G: Glasgow catalogue number (Margaret F. MacDonald, Grischka Petri, Meg Hausberg, and Joanna Meacock, James McNeill Whistler: The Etchings, a catalogue raisonné, University of Glasgow, 2011, website at
GUL: Glasgow University Library, Special Collections.
GUW: The Correspondence of James McNeill Whistler, 1855-1903, edited by Margaret F. MacDonald, Patricia de Montfort and Nigel Thorp; including The Correspondence of Anna McNeill Whistler, 1855-1880, edited by Georgia Toutziari. On-line edition, University of Glasgow, 2003-04; website at
ISSPG: International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers.
LC PC: Pennell Collection, Library of Congress.
M: MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.
mm: millimetres.
RA: Royal Academy of Arts, London.
RBA: Royal Society of British Artists.
SBA: Society of British Artists.
XX: Les Vingt.
YMSM: Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980.

Glossary     ^


  • All frames are British, unless otherwise noted.
  • All frames are gilded, unless otherwise noted.

Sizes are given as follows:

[FD] – Frame Height x Width cm (Height x Width inches).
[MW] Moulding Width cm (Width inches).

Frame types are defined as follows:

1864 Whistler: Early 1864, with decoration, very limited number.
Flat Whistler: reeded cassetta (with raised inner & outer edges), often decorated, used during the 1870s.
Flat Whistler Grau: the earliest Grau frames, flat profile, 1880s.
Grau Whistler: made by F. H. Grau, confirmed by documents or labels/signatures on verso.
Grau-style: made following Grau’s pattern/design, often created after ca 1903.
Portrait Whistler: Larger reeded frames used for portraits, 1880-1890s.
Small Dowdeswell: flat profiled reeded frame with undecorated frieze, the smaller of two sizes with a 11.1 cm moulding width, made during the preparations for the Dowdeswell shows, 1884-1886.
Large Dowdeswell: flat profiled reeded frame with an undecorated frieze, the larger of two sizes, with a 14.1 cm moulding width, made during the preparations for the Dowdeswell shows, 1884-1886.
Whistler-style or Whistlerian in style: a frame that has reeding on it, possibly in imitation of Grau and Dowdeswell frames.

Last updated: 3rd November 2020 by Margaret