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Bewick, Thomas.
Bewick Workshop Coal Shipping Certificate for Baker's Low Main Colliery.
Date of Publication: 1805
Stock Code: 5296
Copper engraved certificate approx 9” x 4”, completed and dated 1805. Single sheet with plate mark to margin. With map of the site and neighbourhood of the mine, “R L & Co” in floriate capitals at its foot and signed “Beilby Sculpt”. The city of Newcastle upon Tyne is engraved ready for use, together with date beginning “180” for the early nineteenth century and fields for the quantity of coal measured in chaldrons, the name of the Master of the ship and of Baker’s Low Main Colliery. The certificate was completed and signed by R White, of the Customs House, for the ship the Galatea, with Master Thomas Ballantine, to carry 88 chaldrons of coal on 2nd November 1805. Minor paper residue to verso top edge; contemporary annotation in ink to reverse relating to the weight of the coal. A little toning and light creasing; overall condition Very Good.
Coal Shipping certificates were warranties which accompanied coals on their voyage, stating that they were of the quantity indicated and were the produce of the named mine. Usually engraved on copper and about 5 inches depth by 9 or 10 breadth, “many of them are extremely beautiful, and all exhibit, in their handsome size, and careful workmanship, the importance of the great trade in which they were employed” (Hugo). Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) was the foremost wood engraver of his and subsequent generations and his bustling Newcastle workshop of jobbing engravers produced a wealth of ephemeral material for other businesses and tradesmen in the district as well as catering to the gentry. The workshop received commissions for book illustrations, trade cards, bill heads, posters, wrappers for products like tobacco, Shipping certificates and much more, making a significant contribution to the history of what became known later as graphic design. Being situated in the North East, Bewick catered for the mining industry and associated trades including ships carrying the coals away from Newcastle to market. This Certificate matches Ref 2643 in Hugo (p. 382). We have a number of other Coal Shipping Certificates produced by Bewick’s workshop for a number of different collieries - please inquire for details. Hugo: Bewick Collector pp 381-401.Tattersfield: Graphic Worlds and Complete Illustrative Work.
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