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This half of a two-page sketch (continued folio 13; D13473) shows North Shields and shipping in the Tyne Estuary. The view is from the east and the continuing page shows South Shields. Above the town Turner has drawn a jagged line, this appears to represent smoke or steam, perhaps from the salt pans that were a major part of the industry of South Shields. Above the boat at the right of the page is an inscription that may read ‘Shields’, or ‘south’, or perhaps ‘smack’, a kind of ship. In 1823 Turner painted a watercolour of Shields, on the River Tyne (Tate D18155; Turner Bequest CCVIII V)1 for the Rivers of England series, although that shows a view from the west.
At the top of the page and continuing on folio 13 is a sketch of a coast or shoreline. This may be the shore of the Tyne, in which case the inscription beneath it may read ‘North’. However, it looks more like ‘Forth’, in which case this may be a sketch of the Firth of Forth, which Turner made numerous sketches of later in the book.
For references to other sketches of Shields in this sketchbook see folio 13.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.384 no.732.