J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Groups of Figures and Boats, Perhaps on the Great Beach at Margate c.1831-45

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Groups of Figures and Boats, Perhaps on the Great Beach at Margate c.1831–45
D34339
Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36c
Pencil on white laid paper, 171 x 94 mm
Partial watermark ‘mlett
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram above centre, centre and below centre
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Packing Fish’ centre left and ‘[?Standing] and [?Packing Mackerel]’ towards bottom
Inscribed in red ink ‘(c)’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCCXLIII – 36 (c)’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This sequence of at least three sketches record the perennial comings and goings of boats and figures at work processing a catch and at leisure by the sea, perhaps on the Great Beach at Margate. See under Tate D34337 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36a) for closely related works in this Margate subsection and elsewhere.
Technical notes:
The partial watermark ‘mlett’ likely indicates the Devon papermaker Edward Norish Tremlett, operating at various mills around Exeter between 1831 and 1856, in partnership with Dewdney between 1831 and 1833, and Charles Harris between 1833 and 1851.1
Finberg somewhat misleadingly described Tate D34337–D34341 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36a–e) as ‘Five sheets from a sketch book ... on blue paper’.2 In fact they are on two matching bifolio unstitched sheets of white paper, presumably once folded within one another, with notches at the head and foot of the fold. D34341 (e) and D34337 (a) are on the left and right of one face, with D34338 (b) on the back of (a); the present work is on the right-hand side of one face of the second sheet, the left-hand side having been largely torn away, with D34340 (d) on its verso. The horizontal given above dimension includes the stub of the other half, the actual dimension of this intact section being approximately 75 mm.

Matthew Imms
August 2016

1
See ‘Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History; 7: The Devon paper trades: a biographical dictionary: Exeter’, Exeter Working Papers in Book History, accessed 4 May 2016, http://bookhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/devon-paper-trades-exeter.html.
2
Finberg 1909, II, p.1108.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Groups of Figures and Boats, Perhaps on the Great Beach at Margate c.1831–45 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-groups-of-figures-and-boats-perhaps-on-the-great-beach-at-r1183896, accessed 21 October 2021.