Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: Prices of Building Materials


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 69 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXII 44

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, the following is inscribed in the upper third:
Brick Earth of 6 feet Deep | is worth 200L per acre | – [?1] yard [‘square’ inserted above] of gravel 2 feet deep | 1 Load
Finberg reads the first figure of the third line as ‘5’ rather than the ‘1’ it appears to be. These isolated notes on building materials may relate to the construction of Turner’s own house in Twickenham; see the present author’s section ‘Sandycombe Lodge c.1808–12’, the dates applied here to the present page. There are prices for brickwork in the Sandycombe and Yorkshire sketchbook (Tate D08967; Turner Bequest CXXVII 3).
Technical notes:
The outer edges of the page are heavily stained from proximity to the leather overlaps under the paste-down inside the back cover (D40901). The final figure of the watermark appears to be a ‘1’ but might possibly be a ‘4’ (see the Introduction to the sketchbook).

Matthew Imms
September 2013

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