View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
The lower half of the pastedown is taken up with various pencil marks which appear to form a landscape or architectural study, possibly with an arched bridge.
The most prominent inscription is that of Turner’s executors, with the book’s original schedule number endorsed by Charles Turner, John Prescott Knight and Charles Lock Eastlake, starting from the top of the page in ink: ‘No 208. This book contains 13 leaves | Pencil sketches – CTurner’; and initialled in pencil ‘JPK’ and ‘C.L.E’ below, towards the centre left. As Ian Warrell has noted, there are now (as recorded by Finberg) eighty-six leaves, most of which are drawn on, ‘presumably previously scattered in other parts of the collection’.1
Charles Turner’s signature obscures the final word(s) of Turner’s note, written towards the top right, upside-down in relation to the executor’s inscription: ‘The Quarterly Review IV | Murray 32 Fleet S | [...]’. It is possible that the last line reads ‘W Gifford’. The publishing house of John Murray was based at 32 Fleet Street, London from 1768 before moving to premises in Albemarle Street in 1812.2 Murray’s Quarterly Review ran from 1809 until 1967; it was edited until 1824 by William Gifford, with two issues per volume and thus two volumes per year.3 As both the volumes and the issues were given Roman numbers, Turner’s ‘IV’ could refer to vol.II, no.IV (November 1809), or vol.IV (nos.vii-viii, August and November 1810). The firm later published various series of Turner’s engravings.4
Ian Warrell, ‘Exploring the “Dark Side”: Ruskin and the Problem of Turner’s Erotica’, with ‘A Checklist of Erotic Sketches in the Turner Bequest’, British Art Journal, vol.4, no.1, Spring 2003, p.17.
‘Timeline’, National Library of Scotland: The John Murray Archive, accessed 3 December 2009, http://www
.nls. .uk /jma /timeline /index .html
General publication history from National Art Library Catalogue, accessed 3 December 2009, http://catalogue
.nal. .vam .ac .uk /
See Luke Herrmann, ‘Murray, John’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, p.195.
The three outer edges are heavily stained by the leather overlaps from the front cover.