some black and brown paint marks CRE Foinet-Lefebvre? This brush is one of several long brushes custom made for James McNeill Whistler. The very long handles recquired the artist to stand at a distance from the canvas, thus allowing Whistler to work with the full composition in view. From the Whistler correspondence we know that he ordered a number of these special brushes from Parisian colourman Foinet-Lefebvre. Brushes were commonly made from camels' hair, hogs' hair, fitch and sable and were available in both rounds and flats. The softer camels' hair and sable brushes were used for finer brushwork or small-scale paintings. (See Leslie Carlyle 2001 'The Artist's Assistant: Oil Painting Instruction Manuals and Handbooks in Britain 1800-1900' pp. 22-23). This brush has a metal ferrule, but others are bound with iron string.
Birnie Philip Bequest,1958.