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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Inscription by Turner: Title of Sketchbook c.1827

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Label on Spine:
Inscription by Turner: Title of Sketchbook c.1827
Turner Bequest
Ink on parchment spine of sketchbook, 8 x 118 mm
Inscribed by Turner in ink ‘Wight’ right of centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg’s brief note and transcription of Turner’s inscription as a ‘label on back’1 is consistent with his 1909 Inventory’s documentation of the artist’s customary paper spine labels bearing ink inscriptions, many of which survive, Turner’s initial campaign of applying paper labels having predated this sketchbook in around 1823–4.2 Some of those labels have since been lost, probably in the aftermath of the 1928 Tate Gallery flood.
The rather indistinct word ‘Wight’ on the rubbed and darkened parchment spine may have been inscribed directly or possibly bled through from a missing paper label.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

Finberg 1909, II, p.698.
See David Hill, Turner on the Thames: River Journeys in the Year 1805, New Haven and London 1993, p.176 note 79; and Ian Warrell, Turner’s Sketchbooks, London 2014, pp.15–16, 236 note 34, and p.234 for annotated checklist of ‘Turner’s Sketchbook Sequences’.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Inscription by Turner: Title of Sketchbook c.1827 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-inscription-by-turner-title-of-sketchbook-r1182664, accessed 23 May 2024.