Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscriptions by Turner: Banknote Numbers Annotated with West Country Place Names

1811

Not on display
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Pen and ink and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 117 x 75 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D40905

Catalogue entry

The whole page is taken up with the following notes:
14665     X Church       May 27   11 
33208                    May 29   11 
55883                    May 10   11 
29395     T              May 18   11 
33256     T              May 31   11 
45350     Seaton         May 27   11 
64522     Bridport       May 31   11 
/ – /                     27   11 
12969                        16   11 
52635     __ 
20323     Totness            22   11 
68489     Ivybridge          31   11 
46058     Plym               16   11 
47801     Plym                9   11 
60117     Plym                6 
64402     Fowey              22 
73587     Lost               16 
72058     Bridgewater        23 
73493     Wells              22 
64111     Redrut June         3 
28805           [?T June]         11 
As Finberg suggests,1 and as Hanley and Holland concur and discuss in detail,2 the numbers and dates appear to be those of Bank of England £1 notes, acquired before Turner set out for the West Country in the summer of 1811 (see the introduction to the tour), and annotated with the places at which they were broken or spent. There is a another section of the list inside the back cover opposite (D40906); both inscriptions are inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation.
A few of the lines cancelling the numbers in the first column, and some of the place names which follow (particularly from ‘Totness’ onwards), have been marked first in pencil and later gone over in ink. Turner made identifiable drawings of all these places, as set out below in the order in which he would have visited them:
‘X Church’: Christchurch, Dorset (formerly Hampshire): see under folio 22 recto (D08403)
‘Bridport’, Dorset: see under folio 47 verso (D08452)
‘Seaton’, Devon: folios 59 recto, 61 verso (D08475, D08480; CXXIII 56b, 58a)
‘Totness’: Totnes, Devon: see under folio 94 verso (D08542; CXXIII 91a)
‘Ivybridge’, Devon: see under folio 156 verso (D08655; CXXIII 153a)
‘Plym’: Plympton or Plymouth, Devon: see under folio 106 verso (D08565; CXXIII 103a) and folio 3 verso (D08367) respectively

Matthew Imms
June 2011

1
Finberg 1961, p.182.
2
Hanley and Holland 1997, pp.14–15.

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