Joseph Mallord William Turner

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

1811

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

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
D40906

Catalogue entry

The whole page is taken up with the following notes:
 9690     Andover          3     June     11 
 1946     [?Murrell G]     3     June     11 
 1951                      3     June     11 
19505                      3     Jun 
25956                      5     Jun 
69186     Andover          3 
58196     Iframomb [sic]   3 
      }   Andover                21833     5 
 5366                            47950     5 
52600                      3     48802 
                                  ...1     5 
52598}    Lostwithiel      3     61648     Covelly 
52599}                           38024     June 
21832                      5         5     Redruth [‘?St...’ above]  
                                     6     Penzance 
41483     Salisbury        3         9     [...] 
21834     Amesbury         5        
   33     Salisbury        5         8     St Mich Mt 
                                    30     [?Horton]  
67950     Salisbury        5      4085     5 
48802                      5         6     Falmouth 
    1     Minehead         3    39682      3 Bodmin 
61048                            28805     3 
38024                      3 
21832     Froom            5 
41483     Salisbury        1 
21834 
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 similar list on folio 253 verso opposite (D40905); both inscriptions are inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation.
A few of the lines cancelling the numbers are in pencil, with one or two reinforced with ink. The first three ‘Salisbury’s in the first column are in pencil; some places in the second column remain in pencil alone, while others have been gone over again in ink. Turner made identifiable drawings at most of these places, as set out below in the order in which he would have visited them:
1
Finberg 1961, p.182.
2
Hanley and Holland 1997, pp.14–15.

Matthew Imms
June 2011

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