Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Seafront at Deal with the Semaphore Tower

c.1830

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: 76 x 98 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D35764
Turner Bequest CCCLXIII 4 a

Catalogue entry

The drawing is inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation. It shows what is now the Timeball Tower Museum,1 set back a little from Deal’s seafront off Victoria Parade. Before the timeball mechanism was established to assist accurate navigation in 1855, between 1821 and 1831 there was a semaphore mast, as apparently shown by Turner, used for anti-smuggling operations, on the site of a Napoleonic-era shutter telegraph.2 There is another view in the 1825 Holland sketchbook (Tate D19389; Turner Bequest CCXIV 277).
The view is continued a little on folio 5 recto opposite (D35765). For other views of Deal see under the recto (D35763).

Matthew Imms
September 2016

1
See Deal Timeball Tower, accessed 15 February 2016, http://www.dealtimeball.co.uk/.
2
See ‘Places of Interests: Deal Timeball Tower’, What’s On In Deal, accessed 15 February 2016, http://www.deal-kent.co.uk/places-of-interests/deal-timeball-tower.

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