View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
In this rough sketch, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, perhaps half a dozen figures are arrayed in the foreground, apparently reclining, seated and standing, while rough shapes above may indicate buildings beyond. Finberg’s tentative suggestion of a ‘rag fair’ (a market for old clothes and fabrics)1 may be correct, or the ‘R’ may stand for Reading, the Berkshire town; see under folio 24 verso (D08320) and compare the ‘Reading’ inscriptions there and on folio 26 verso opposite (D08324). The second word might alternatively be ‘Farm’, suggesting an agricultural scene, though ‘Fair’ is perhaps more likely.
For London rag fairs see Barbara Brackman, ‘Fabric Retailing: The Rag Fair’, Material Culture, accessed 12 September 2013, http://barbarabrackman
.blogspot. .co .uk /2013 /08 /fabric -retailing -rag -fair .html