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Bewick, Thomas.
Bewick Workshop Coal Shipping Certificate for Leeburn Main Colliery.
Publisher: Newcastle upon Tyne;
Date of Publication: 1800
Stock Code: 5287
Copper engraved certificate approx 9” x 5”. Single sheet with plate mark to margin. Undated but circa 1805. Armorial vignette and “Joseph & Thos Humble” in floriated capitals. The field of “Sunderland” is engraved ready for use, together with date beginning “180” 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 Leeburn Main pit. The fields are blank ready for completion upon use. Small professional repair top edge and a little light creasing otherwise a very clean copy. 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 2831 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 pp381-401. Tattersfield: Graphic Worlds and Complete Illustrative Work.
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