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11th October 2022
Dorothy Whipple has a genius for the telling, often heart-breaking, detail. For Mrs Ashburne in Someone at a Distance, her 'silver pepper-castor, salt-cellar and mustard-pot, half-in, half-out of their tissue paper-wrappings' represent what is left of her family home. She knows that once she takes her 'own table-silver' down to the dining room, the move to the 'private hotel' will be 'irrevocable'. Her precious silver could have been painted by Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949), who demonstrates in 'Silver' (1938, Tate ) his consummate skill in painting lustrous surfaces.
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