Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fuller Guns

While researching the Fuller's ironfounding history I got interested in tracking down any surviving guns that were made at their Heathfield Forge. From as early as 1693 until 1763 the Fullers made hundreds, if not thousands, of cannons ranging from 1-pounders to 24-pounders in size.

So far I have found: a 1-pounder at Anne of Cleves House at Lewes, Sussex; two 24-pounders at Firepower - The Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich; two or more guns at the Tower of London; a 4-pounder recovered from the wreck of Blackbeard's flagship the Queen Anne's Revenge now at the North Carolina Maritime Museum; a gun that was reclaimed from the wreck of English merchant slave ship the Henrietta Marie now in the collection of the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum, Key West, Florida.
I have some evidence that there is a Fuller gun at Dover Castle.

Any help in locating cannons made at the Heathfield Forge, Sussex by the Fuller family would be gratefully received.
Many thanks to: Les Smith at Firepower - The Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich; Nathan Henry, Assistant State Archaeologist and Conservator, Underwater Archaeology Branch North Carolina Office of State Archaeology; Mark Wilde-Ramsing, Project Manager, Queen Anne's Revenge Shipwreck Unit; Friends of Dover Castle

One Pounder Cannon - c. 1749

"The initials IF of the trunnion normally represent John Fuller of Heathfield 1706-1755 but this may be one of the small guns cast by W & G Jukes of Robertsbridge Abbey Furnace. The Jukes[sometimes Jewkes] were commissioned by Fuller to supply him with a number of small iron guns but they forged his initials on the trunnions which led Fuller - a founder of repute - to terminate the contract. The second reinforce bears a shield with a cornet above the letters D probably relating to the first Duke of Dorset, Lionel Cranfield Sackville (1688-1765) who was Variously Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Constable of Dover Castle and Warden of the Cinque Ports and whose family has long associations with the Weald and Sheffield Park."

Source: Anne of Cleves House Museum, Lewes, East Sussex

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Turner's Painful Memory Displayed for First Time

By Arifa Akbar Published: 30 June 2007
J M W Turner was not just known as a prodigious water-colourist and landscape painter in his lifetime. He was also famed among his nearest and dearest as a bit of a miser.
But now a sketch is going on sale that tells a very different story of the artist: one of close friendship, warmth and generosity. Figures by a fishing boat hauled up on the beach at Brighton was given away by the artist. Now it is priced at £95,000.
The friend who received the sketch as a gift was astonished when Turner handed over the image. Years later, it transpired that the portrayal of the fishing boat on Brighton beach in Turner's sketchbook reminded the artist of the death of his closest friend and that he could not bear to keep it.
Figures by a fishing boat is believed to date from 1824, when Turner made a series of preparatory studies in the southern coastal town.
The work went on sale at Agnew's Gallery in Old Bond Street, London, yesterday, when an exhibition opened entitled Master Drawings, which includes the sketch and many others which have never before been viewed by the public. The work will be exhibited until 6 July.
Turner took the sketchbook, complete with his Brighton sketches, to Yorkshire in the autumn of 1824 to make some local studies while visiting his closest friend, Walter Fawkes, near Otley, North Yorkshire.
But it was to be the artist's last visit to Fawkes, a landowner and MP who had built up a large collection of Turner's work. Fawkes died some months later, in 1825, and the half-filled sketchbook was put to one side by a grief-stricken Turner.
Read full article here.
(Brighton from the Sea by JMW Turner circa 1829)