Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: A Note Concerning a Delivery

1814

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 69 × 112 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D40899

Catalogue entry

This note is on the verso of a printed slip with handwritten charges for carriage and porterage from the Saracen’s Head, a London coaching inn (D08356; CXXII (1)). The slip is one of a grouping of four loose papers kept in the integral pocket inside the front cover of the Finance sketchbook (D40898). Two others (D08357, D08358; Turner Bequest CXXII (2), (3)) are pre-printed Bank of England slips with manuscript additions. A fourth is a much-folded sheet of accounts (D08359, D40900; Turner Bequest CXXII (4) and verso).
The upper half is taken up with the following note:
        Weight 40½ [‘lb’ inserted above] | Came Thursday week – |
        Jany 13 1814
Turner’s ‘lb’ signifies pounds, equating to about a weight of about 18 kilograms for the item(s). 13 January 1814 was a Thursday, so Turner may either have been writing on 20 January about an otherwise unspecified delivery the previous week, or on 13 January itself about the week before that.
Technical notes:
All but the left-hand edge are slightly irregular. The sheet has several long-standing creases, particularly along the vertical axis, and was perhaps casually folded on receipt of the bill on its recto.

Matthew Imms
September 2013

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