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This is one of a number of studies of hulks (decommissioned, dismasted warships) in the Hamoaze and lower reaches of the River Tamar north-west of Plymouth Sound between folios 3 recto and 30 recto (D09671, D09704). Here Saltash appears to the north in the background; for similar sketches and a later watercolour of the scene, see under folio 26 recto (D09698). The slope down towards Henn Point at the mouth of the St Germans or Lynher River on the left appears to be the same as seen on the recto (D09701), near Wearde Quay.
Butlin and Joll mention this sketch in relation to the oil painting Hulks on the Tamar, possibly exhibited at Turner’s gallery in 1812 (Tate T03881; displayed at Petworth House, West Sussex),1 in that it ‘resembles the oil more closely’ than other drawings in the sketchbook, although it ‘cannot claim to be a study for it.’2 Indeed, given that the present drawing appears to have been made in 1814, the slight resemblance must be fortuitous.