This sketch is of the southern end of Tobermory Harbour. From the bridge over the Tobermory River, we look down on the bay (where there are several small boats) and across to the slipway at the end of the harbour, with the promontory at the southern end of the bay at the left. On this promontory is a building which David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have identified as Drumfin House.1 An inscription at the top of the page has been read as ‘D. Barns & Co., Dyer and Colours’ and ‘Niel Mc Par. Smithy’. According to Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan, a smithy stood on the pier in Turner’s day.2 The other buildings on the site have, since 1798, belonged to a whisky distillery.3 The other part of the inscription has been taken as a reference to a shop where Turner could have bought colours, although he did not make any watercolours during his tour of Scotland. Inscriptions on another sketch of Tobermory on folio 1 verso (D26749) may also refer to the proprietors of local businesses.
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on Mull and Staffa’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folio 11].
‘Tobermory Distillery’, Undiscovered Scotland, accessed 18 March 2010, http://www
.undiscoveredscotland. .co .uk /mull /tobermorydistillery /index .html
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