Catalogue entry

T05112 Barnard Castle, from ‘The Talisman’ engr. J.T. Willmore

Line-engraving 87 × 119 (3 7/16 × 4 11/16) on India paper laid on wove paper 171 × 312 (6 3/4 × 12 5/16); plate mark 152 × 214 (6 × 8 7/16)

Engraved inscriptions: ‘J.T. Willmore’ below image at centre
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1988

Prov: ...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Lit: Rawlinson II 1913, no.341, engraver's proof (b)

Engraver's proof of plate published in The Talisman, 1831. Original watercolour: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (Wilton 1979, no.793). The plate is a reduced replica of one made for Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Rawlinson 1 1908, no.217; see T04517-T04518).

Rawlinson states that he had never seen a copy of The Talisman; nor has the present compiler been able to locate the volume for 1831 in which this plate appeared. The Talisman for 1832, however, is in the British Library, and the information given on its title-page is likely to have applied to the volume of the previous year. It was entitled The Talisman or English Keepsake with Fine Engravings: A Bouquet of Literature and the Fine Arts and, like many of the other annuals of this period, contained a selection of sentimental prose and poetry, illustrated by engravings of high quality. Edward Lacey of St Paul's, London, is named as publisher on the title-page and in the publication line of the plates of the 1832 volume but Rawlinson records impressions of the 1831 ‘Barnard Castle’ with Whitaker named as publisher.

The Talisman may have been another of the annuals launched by Charles Heath for in the Preface to the 1832 volume the writer thanks the British public who have patronised ‘his previous efforts; and begs to call attention to the fact that since the publication of this volume first commenced placing the Annuals within the reach of all classes, he has sold upwards of 100,000 of them’; Charles Heath was surely the only promoter successful enough to fit this description. The Talisman for 1832 also included a plate after Turner, ‘The Forum Romanum’ (Rawlinson 11 1913, no.340), which had apparently also been used that year as an illustration for another annual, The Remembrance.

From the French inscriptions on some of the plates, as well as those described by Rawlinson (see T05113), it seems that The Talisman was also published in Paris, by Giraldon Bovinet. Rawlinson records that ‘Barnard Castle’ also appeared in ‘“The New Cabinet Album of Entertainment and Instruction” (date unknown)’.

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996