Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • View of the Wrekin, Shropshire
Pencil, watercolour
  • image width 270mm,
  • image length 365mm
laid paper
on a contemporary mount now much cut down
  • sheet, recto, lower right
  • “F.Towne delt. 1783”
  • in brown ink
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “A View of the Wrekin in Shropshire / going from Wenlock to Shrewsbury / done on the spot / by / Francis Towne / 1783”
  • in brown ink in a neat hand
Object Type

The Wrekin
The Wrekin, on the road between Wenlock and Shrewsbury
Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Sotheby’s records (image)


Untraced until 1944 when it was on sale at the Fine Art Society. It was sold at Sotheby’s on 13 October 1954, lot 13, for £75 to the Fine Art Society (no.6121), who sold it on 30 March 1955 for £136 10s. to Sir Adrian Holman (1895–1974). In 1962 Bury noted it in a “private collection” in 1962, and it is thereafter untraced until offered for sale at Sotheby’s on 19 March 2003, lot 149, and again at Sotheby’s on 1 July 2004, lot 203. It was sold at Rosebery’s, West Norwood, on 16 June 2009, lot 966, for £1,600 (hammer price) to Abbott and Holder, where it was offered for sale (having been cleaned) in October 2009.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection, 2009
Abbott and Holder Ltd, London, October 2009
Abbott and Holder Ltd, London, 16 June 2009, GBP 1600
Rosebery of West Norwood, West Norwood, 16 June 2009, lot 966
Sotheby's, London, 1 July 2004
lot 203
Sotheby's, London, 19 March 2003
lot 149
Sir Adrian Holman (1895 - 1974), 30 March 1955, GBP 136.10s
The Fine Art Society, London, London, 13 October 1954, GBP 75, no.6121
Sotheby's, London, London, 13 October 1954, lot 13
The Fine Art Society, London, London, 1944
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 70


This is one of two Shropshire views that are dated 1783 and based on Towne’s 1777 North Wales drawings, perhaps ordered by the same person. The source of this work is FT067, dated 1777, and a version was exhibited in 1805 (FT068). A further unfinished version may have been a first attempt (FT398).

by Richard Stephens

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