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Bewick, Thomas.
Bewick Workshop; Coal Shipping Certificate for Kenton Main Colliery
Date of Publication: 1825
Stock Code: 5294
Copper engraved certificate approx 9” x 5” with armorial vignettes of “Messrs. Middleton and Chapman”. Undated but circa 1825, paper watermarked 1824. Plate mark to margin. The field of “Newcastle upon Tyne” is engraved ready for use, together with date beginning “18” for the early years of the nineteenth century and fields for the quantity of coal measured in chaldrons, the name of the Master and of the ship and of the Kenton Main pit. The fields are blank ready for completion upon use. Top edge with paper stub across its length from having being glued into something at some point; a few minor creases. 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 2816 in Hugo (p. 390). 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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