Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches and Diagrams of Fishing Boats at Dieppe


Not on display
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXI 31 a

Catalogue entry

The page contains various sketches and diagrams of parts of boats, including sketches of bows and sterns at the top left, and at the right two bird’s-eye view diagrams of the deck. The top one of these has parts labelled: ‘w’ (presumably meaning white), and ‘Balla | or feet B[...]’ (perhaps referring to ballast?). Beneath the diagram is an indecipherable inscription: ?‘Skifting K[...]’. The diagram beneath is labelled ‘hold | [?]common’ at the left, and ‘cable’ at the bottom right with other unidentified inscriptions. The main inscription on the page is as follows:
The Front [or French] fishing Boats are some | of them which are small – are pointed | at the stern – others square. Some are | bluff, like Dutch scufts. The | fore mast upright | main raking | and misen not always used but it always on the | left side of tiller. Some have cradles for the | mast others a cross. [diagrams] small boats | none the f [perhaps meaning foresail] sheets run thro holes on the side, the man far aft | A windlass [sketch of windlass] always near the hatchway. Sometimes lockers | on the side of the gunwale tho’ they always row |
The oars are ring’d in slings a la Vandevellt at the outside | of Boat. They generally carry 16 men the large – 5 and 6 the small Boats |The forehold is close to the fore-mast. the [?]waist for the fish | and aft for nets – a small locker at the stern. The Boat sprit is lashed | to the foremast allowed to rake down | [sketch of bowsprit] This looks broken and | awkward in the small B[oat].
The sheet of the fore sail is shifted | the weather tack to the Bow in the | large it goes to the Bolt Sails the Main Sail has a clue [cleat?] to the | stern to hold it to the wind, like the Dutch Boat, but no tackle Block
Another inscription at the upper right of the page reads:
in the LB they have [sketch of a cleat] inside in [?]Boat | Boats O in the Bulwark where | [?]coves in.

Thomas Ardill
March 2013

Read full Catalogue entry

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