Joseph Mallord William Turner

Group of Figures

1820–3

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 111 x 188 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D40978

Catalogue entry

The inside front cover of this sketchbook contains one small and rough sketch, drawn with the book turned to the right near the outer edge of the page. It shows two figures carrying hand carts and is labelled ‘Guinea collectors’ in Turner’s hand. It is possible that these people are connected in some way to an event of the visit of George IV to Edinburgh in 1822; perhaps they are collection guineas for entry into an event, or the hire or sale of something.1 However, seeing as this sketchbook was also used for non-Scottish subjects, the sketch may be unconnected.
The other inscriptions on this page are the endorsements of Turner’s executors. H.S. Trimmer has numbered the book ‘No. 311’, and noted its contents: ‘6 leaves in pencil’, before adding his signature. Beneath this is the signature of Charles Turner and the initials of Charles Lock Eastlake and John Prescott Knight. A.J. Finberg has inscribed in pencil and stamped in black ink the Turner Bequest number ‘CCI’.

Thomas Ardill
November 2008

1
The term ‘guinea’ is used colloquially as the guinea coin had been replaced by the sovereign during the so-called Great Recoinage around 1816–17.

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