Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscriptions by Turner: Accounts

c.1810

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: 112 x 69 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08294
Turner Bequest CXXII 7 a

Catalogue entry

The whole page is taken up with accounts in ink (except ‘1353 7 5’ in pencil), written with book turned vertically:
            1602 .. 7 . 5 before. ..
              50 Sold for Deposit
      1552 . 7. 5
                       300 Sold for Land
      1252 .7 5
              200 Bought Ld Essex
                  1452 7 5
            | Sold 50 . 19 Octr
      1452 7 5 |
            | Sold 50 17 Nov pd Turner
      1402 7 5 |
      1352 7 5 | Bt 158. 7 4 Parker
      1510. 14 .9 | Bt 164 . Ld Egrmt
      1674 . . . |
      1625 . 11...1 Sold 50£ Stock
      1825 11 1 Bt Parker 200
            +4 11
      2129 . 19.10 Bt Fawkes 304 19 1
            [?9] 2
      2334 . 6 . 11 Bt Sir John 204 12
      2335 2 2 Ld Eg 600
      2935 2 2 70 Fawkes note 20 Feby
      3005 9 2
The left-hand column, ending with £3005, nine shillings and two pence, represents a running total of the various transactions detailed on the right.
Lord Essex1 bought the painting Trout Fishing in the Dee, Corwen Bridge and Cottage (Taft Museum, Cincinnati) when it was exhibited at Turner’s gallery in 1809,2 for two hundred guineas (or pounds).3 The same figure and name appear on folio 13 recto (D08303). ‘Parker’ may be Thomas Lister Parker, a cousin of Sir John Leicester and friend of Walter Fawkes (see below)4 who bought Sheerness and the Isle of Sheppey, with the Junction of the Thames and the Medway, from the Nore (‘The Junction of the Thames and the Medway’) (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC) in 1807, probably when it was exhibited at Turner’s gallery.5
‘Ld Egrmt’ is Lord Egremont, an increasingly important patron6 whose name also appears on folio 13 recto (D08303); and see under folio 36 recto (D08340). Walter ‘Fawkes’, another major patron (and friend),7 ended up owing Turner large sums for the many pictures he acquired; see under folio 36 recto (D08340) and the sheet of accounts associated with this sketchbook (D40900; [Turner Bequest CXXII (4) verso]). ‘Sir John’ Leicester (later Lord de Tabley)8 was yet another patron; again, see under D08340 and D40900.

Matthew Imms
September 2013

1
See Charles Sebag-Montefiore, ‘Essex, George Capel Coningsby, fifth Earl of (1757–1839)’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, pp.94–5.
2
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.68 no.92, Pl.102 (colour).
3
Gage 1980, p.253.
4
See Charles Sebag-Montefiore, ‘Parker, Thomas Lister (1779–1858)’ in Joll, Butlin and Herrmann 2001, pp.215–16.
5
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.49–50 no.62, pl.73.
6
See Alastair Laing, ‘Egremont, third Earl of (1751–1837)’ in Joll, Butlin and Herrmann 2001, pp.84–6.
7
See James Hamilton, ‘Fawkes, Walter Ramsden (1769–1825)’ in ibid., pp.103–5.
8
See Charles Sebag-Montefiore, ‘Leicester, Sir John Fleming (1762–1827)’ in ibid., pp.164–5.

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