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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sketches: Jugs, Carts, a Figure and a Landscape (possibly Dalkeith); and Inscriptions 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Inside Front Cover:
Sketches: Jugs, Carts, a Figure and a Landscape (possibly Dalkeith); and Inscriptions 1818
Pencil on white wove paper, 90 x 112 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘Can of’ ‘Fish and’ ‘coal | milk | Stone Can, | Riding Cart the women [?]sit [?forward/back]ward | [?]Books Red marble [?]edge | Blue D[...]’ across the page from top to bottom; and ‘[...] [?]Dalkeith’ bottom right running vertically with a thumbnail sketch of a landscape in a box
Executors’ endorsement, in brown ink ‘No. 359. | 68 leafs of pencil | sketches [Sgn.] H S Trimmer’ bottom left, Charles Lock Eastlake’s signed initials ‘C.L.E’ | and John Prescott Knight’s signed initials ‘JPK’ in pencil centre bottom above Trimmer’s endorsement
Blindstamped with the Turner Bequest monogram centre bottom to left of Knight’s initials
Stamped in black ‘CLXVI’ top left
Inscribed in pencil ‘CLXVI’ bottom left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Typical of Turner’s sketchbook practice on this tour of Scotland, the inside covers of the Edinburgh sketchbook have been used for quick observations and visual and written notes. The sketches and notes here were perhaps made at an inn during Turner’s journey or stay in Edinburgh as they relate to food and deliveries. There are two carts, one at the top of the page with the inscription, ‘Cart of fish and coal’, and another with two women aboard at the left. There are two rows of jugs and ‘milk’ pales which may have been used to decant a delivery of milk from the cart. Similar objects are displayed in the foreground of the watercolours, Edinburgh High Street, circa 1818 (Yale Center for British Art),1 and Heriot’s Hospital, circa 1819 (National Gallery of Scotland),2 and may have derived from the objects observed in this sketch.
Another inscription refers to ‘Books’ with a ‘Red marble[d] edge’. At the bottom left of the page is a figure who is bent forward slightly as if pulling a cart, with an inscription perhaps referring to a ‘Blue’ item of clothing. Finally, a faint sketch at the bottom right, drawn with the page turned to the right, shows a landscape and may be inscribed ‘Dalkeith’, a town that Turner visited and sketched on this tour, and that was chosen as a subject for Scott’s Provincial Antiquities publication (though not illustrated by Turner).

Thomas Ardill
January 2008

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1061.
Ibid., no.1064.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Sketches: Jugs, Carts, a Figure and a Landscape (possibly Dalkeith); and Inscriptions 1818 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 2008, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-sketches-jugs-carts-a-figure-and-a-landscape-possibly-r1131993, accessed 17 August 2019.