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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Georgian Silver and Agate Pocket Snuff Box Inscribed ‘Joseph Mallord William Turner’ and the date ‘1785’"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
A note inside stating ‘This agate and silver snuff box was presented to Joseph Mallord William Turner dated and signed 17.85’
Agate panel to base with crack
Size: 2.5cm high, 5.5cm wide, 5.5cm deep – 1 ins high, 2¼ ins wide, 2¼ ins deep
In 1789 when he was fourteen he was apprenticed to Thomas Malton, the architectural topographer, and the strict discipline of draughtsmanship taught him perspective and gave him a trained eye. On 11th December 1789 he was admitted into the Royal Academy Schools, after a years probation, and in 1790 at the age of fifteen his first watercolour was shown in the Academy’s exhibition.
Perhaps when Turner left for Brentford his father presented him with the going away present of this snuffbox. It is said that he was always very fond of his eldest son, and a memoir by Peter Cunningham written in 1852, the year after Turner’s death, tells of when they both visited a customers London residence for the father to dress his clients hair, the 5 year old artist made his first drawing from a coat of arms upon a table, and that ever after this his father when asked by customers what his son was going to be would proudly reply ‘William is going to be a painter’!