Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscriptions by Turner: Accounts


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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 13

Catalogue entry

The upper part of the page, turned vertically and starting very close to the gutter, is taken up with the following accounts, in ink except for ‘1812’ in pencil:
            3005 9 2
            3205 9 2   200 Bt Essex
            3276 1. 3    70 12 1 Interest
            3477 14 1   201 12 10 Egremonts
            4110. 1.4   632 7 3 Leader Sept 9
            4406, 8, 10   last July divd 1812
After a large gap further accounts follow, commencing with the sum of the accounts transcribed above, in pencil except for ‘2283 9 3’ and ‘March 4. 13’ in ink. ‘2283 9 3’ overwrites different, existing pencil figures, while ‘1000’ on the next line appears to have been amended from ‘1075’; consequently the sum of the three figures appears incorrect:
            4406 – 8   10   Navy
            2283   9   3   Red
            1000   March 4. 13 Consols
            7829   12    6
            Sepr   24   1812
Lord Essex1 bought the painting Trout Fishing in the Dee, Corwen Bridge and Cottage (Taft Museum, Cincinnati) when it was exhibited at Turner’s gallery in 1809,2 for two hundred guineas (or pounds);3 the same figure and name appear on folio 7 verso (D08294). ‘Egremonts’ refers to Lord Egremont, an increasingly important patron,4 whose name also appears on D08303; and see under folio 36 recto (D08340).With regard to the elusive and possibly never-existent painting known as ‘The Leader Seapiece’, Butlin and Joll note the reference here as a rare mention of the somewhat obscure William Leader.5
The amount of £3005 nine shillings and two pence appears again on folio 7 verso (D08294). The figure of £4110 one shilling and four pence occurs on folio 57 verso (D07683) and a separate sheet of calculations associated with this sketchbook (D40900; [Turner Bequest CXXIII (4) verso]), as well as in the Hastings sketchbook (Tate D07683; Turner Bequest CXI 57a) on a page including the date 1810. The figure for Navy stocks, £4406 eight shillings and ten pence, appears on folios 12 verso, 13 verso and 14 recto and verso (D08302, D08304–D08306) and in the Hastings book (Tate D07670; Turner Bequest CXI 49).

Matthew Imms
September 2013

See Charles Sebag-Montefiore, ‘Essex, George Capel Coningsby, fifth Earl of (1757–1839)’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, pp.94–5.
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.68 no.92, Pl.102 (colour).
John Gage, Collected Correspondence of J.M.W. Turner with an Early Diary and a Memoir by George Jones, Oxford 1980, p.253.
See Alastair Laing, ‘Egremont, third Earl of (1751–1837)’ in Joll, Butlin and Herrmann 2001, pp.84–6.
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.126; see also Evelyn Joll, ‘“Leader Seapiece”, The’ and Robert Upstone, ‘Leader, William’ in Joll, Butlin and Herrmann 2001, pp.162 and 163 respectively.

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