An illustrated letter from Sir William Orpen to Hoare with a sketch of Hoare playing Billiards.

“At Paris 11-12-29

My Dear Hoare,

I learn from fellow members that you are still wanting to play me – and I want you to get on with it without me – I should be in Monte Carlo to paint a portrait in January and I also shall be in Biarritz after that to paint another so I would never make the tournament, even if I did beat you which is about 100 to 1 against.

So my dear friend, “Atta Baby ” Houp La, Voila!

Keep your nose low – and your forehead knotted.

Love to all Orps.


PS – ‘Houp La’ means – ‘whoops a daisy’ and ‘Voila’ means – ‘that’s it’

The letter was possibly to the playwright – John Edward Hoare (1858 – 1930).


Post by Dominic Lee, Orpen Research Archives.