Joseph Mallord William Turner

Building Accounts for Sandycome Lodge (Inscriptions by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 83 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXIII 13

Catalogue entry

Turner’s accounts are as follows:
Timber for floor, doors, &c                  4 
do. for lathing                              1. 5 
do. for Roof                                 3 
do. at Kilsby’s                              1 
Tayler wages. 11 weeks                      17.10 
Turners do. for floors                       1.13 
For Roof to Ditto                            1. 4 
Chimney Pieces and hearth                    1. 6 
Nails                                        2 
Locks, bolts                                 1 
Shutters                                     1.  5 
Lime                                             7. 6 
Jack’s time for fetching Timber 
From Brentford                               1 
Window frames to Turner                      1.17 
To Glazing do.                               2 
Oven. Carriage                               1.10 
D doors                                      2 
Lathes–sink stone                            1 
Together with further accounts written inside the covers of the sketchbook (D07853, D07854) these must relate to materials and labour for the construction of Turner’s house at Twickenham, Sandycombe Lodge; the sum for ‘Timber From Brentford’ confirms this. Turner had bought the land for the house in 1807 and may now be drawing up detailed estimates before work started on the site. Youngblood notes that the figure given for ‘Tayler wages’ equates to three shillings and one penny per day for a five-day week, or one penny more a day than the wage then recommended for labourers,1 suggesting that Turner dealt fairly with tradesmen despite his reputation for miserliness.

David Blayney Brown
July 2009

For example by John Plaw, Country Houses, Villas and Rural Dwellings, London 1800, p.8.

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