Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Dunsmore, an Estate of James White Esq.
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image height 175mm,
  • image width 394mm
two sheets
  • sheet, verso
  • “Dunsmoor, an estate of James White esq”
  • Possibly the inscription was in the part of the smaller sheet that has been cut away from the drawing, since when it was offered for sale at Christie's, no reference was made to it.
Part of
  • 1813 Sketchbook
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Agnew’s records; Christie’s records (image)


Bequeathed by the artist in 1816 to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), on whose death it passed to Towne’s residuary legatee John Herman Merivale (1745–1844) and his successors. Merivale’s granddaughters Maria Sophia Merivale (1853–1928) and Judith Ann Merivale (1860–1945), both of Oxford, inherited the drawing in May 1915 as part of a sketchbook containing FT752 to FT764, which they sold in 1927 to Walker’s Galleries for £60. Thereafter it is untraced until 1973, when it was sold by the Fine Art Society (no.11533) for £,3850 to Dr Marc Fitch (1908–1994), whose collection—including this work—was on sale at Leger Galleries in 1987, where it was sold to a private collector. Thereafter it is again untraced until its sale at Christie’s on 25 October 1993, lot 641, for £4,200 to Leger Galleries; Leger sold it on 17 December 1996 to Spink, who (as Spink-Leger) sold it once more at Christie’s on 20 November 2003, lot 41, for £8,000 whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection, 20 November 2003, GBP 8000
Christie's, London, London, 20 November 2003, lot 41
Spink-Leger Pictures, London, November 2003
Spink & Son, London, London, 17 December 1996
Leger Galleries, London, 25 October 1993, GBP 4200
Christie's, London, London, 25 October 1993, lot 641
Private Collection, 1987
Leger Galleries, London, 1987
Dr Marc Fitch (1908 - 1994), 1973, GBP 3850
The Fine Art Society, London, London, 1973, no.11533
Walker's Galleries, London, 1927, GBP 60
Within a sketchbook containing FT752 to FT764.
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
24th Annual Exhibition of Early English Watercolours, Walker's Galleries, 1928, no. 87
53rd Exhibition of Early Englsh Water Colours, Fine Art Society, 1973, no. 142
Exhibition of English Watercolours, Leger Galleries, 1987, no. 2
The Fitch Collection A Record of the Major English Watercolours and Drawings Collected by Dr Marc Fitch, Leger Galleries, 1988, no. 3
British Paintings, Watercolours and Drawings, Leger Galleries, 1994, no. 7


Dunsmore (or Dunsmoor) is in the parish of Silverton, ten miles or so north of Exeter and just north of the Killerton estate of the Aclands (see FT449). The White family had owned property there since at least 1715.1 Christie’s sold this drawing in 2003 as a view of Fordland, but there is no reason to doubt the inscription that Walker’s Galleries transcribed in 1927.

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Devon Record Office, 1926 B/WT/T/3/1.

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