Joseph Mallord William TurnerA Lime Kiln at Combe Martin 1811

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Artwork details

A Lime Kiln at Combe Martin
From Devonshire Coast, No.1 Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXXIII
Date 1811
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 75 x 117 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIII 147
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 150 Recto:
A Lime Kiln at Combe Martin 1811
Turner Bequest CXXIII 147
Pencil on white wove writing paper, 75 x 117 mm;
Part watermark ‘Sm | 17’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘wood’ top left, ‘Pack [?Hrs Donky] | Timber’ below centre, and ‘Comb Martin’ bottom right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘147’ top left, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CXXIII – 147’ top right, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The view, dominated by a lime kiln in the foreground, is to the north-west across Combe Martin’s small harbour off Cross Street. Beyond, houses rise on what is now called Seaside Hill and coastal cliffs recede towards Burrow Nose in the distance on the right. The site is known as Kiln Car Park; there were once eighteen kilns around the village.1 There is an early photograph showing the kiln above the harbour from the north-west (Combe Martin Museum).2
Luke Herrmann and others have noted this sketch as the basis of the watercolour Combe Martin, Devonshire of about 1824 (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford),3 engraved in 1825 for the Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England4 (see the concordance of the series in the 1811 tour introduction). Horses or mules with panniers and a donkey are shown in the position corresponding with Turner’s inscription here.
There are further views of the harbour and coast in the contemporary Somerset and North Devon sketchbook (Tate D08949, D08950, D08951; Turner Bequest CXXVI 4, 5, 5a).
See ‘Trade and Settlement North Devon Walk: Combe Martin’, North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, accesded 18 March 2011,
Wilton 1979, p.354 no.476, reproduced.
Herrmann 1968, p.67; Wilton 1979, p.354; Shanes 1981, p.152; Herrmann and Harrison 2000, p.[56].
Technical notes:
There is some offsetting from the ink inscription on folio 149 verso opposite (D08645; CXXIII 146a).

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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