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Joseph Mallord William Turner

1775 – 1851

Brightling Observatory, seen from Rosehill Park by Joseph Mallord William Turner

Brightling Observatory, seen from Rosehill Park   1819

  Line engraving with etching by W.B. Cooke
With both artists’ names in the plate.
Ref: Rawlinson 130 ii/iii India Proof, Imperial Folio.
S 356 x 512 mm; P 253 x 330 mm; I 191 x 280 mm
Brilliant proof impression with sparkling line and superb tonal variation.
One of the extremely rare Imperial Folio India Proofs with the word ‘Proof’ in italics and the date 1819, printed on Imperial Folio size India paper.

Designed for the series Views in Sussex, this beautiful and impressive engraving is in its finest form in this state. Having only just been completed, the lines of the engraving have printed with unblemished clarity – a clarity which has been enhanced by the lustre of the fine India paper upon which this large Imperial Folio format proof has been printed. Proofs of this sort were the most expensive version of this series of engravings, priced at £5 10s. per Part. This type of proof is thought to be the equivalent of the ‘Proofs for the Curious’, produced for the closely allied Southern Coast engravings which also involved W.B.Cooke in their production. Finberg records in his catalogue on J.M.W.Turner’s Southern Coast engravings, that the so called ‘Proofs for the Curious’ were a special edition de luxe ‘for the accomodation of the Curious’ and notes that impressions of this sort on large format India paper “are excessively rare”.

This work was commissioned as part of a series for private publication by the proprietor of Rosehill Park, the eccentric John Fuller, M.P. The engravings were based upon watercolours made by J.M.W.Turner between 1810 and 1815 centering around Fuller’s estate between Hastings and Tunbridge Wells. Although a series of fourteen engravings was intended to be issued in two parts, only one part containing five engravings ever appeared.

On off-white India paper applied to original warm white wove backing sheet, with full margins. Generally very fine original condition. Image surface excellent.