(this is a very small original image – see note on image sizes)
Aquatint by J Bluck, the sky printed in blue.
Published by T Wise, Tonbridge, 1 March 1806. Martha Gunn is depicted in the foreground. The scene shows bathing machines on the East Brighton beach before the Chain Pier was built, and at a time when many libraries were established on the east side of the Steine. The building on the far left is possibly Baker’s Library, with the Marine Library one of the buildings in the centre of the Marine Parade terrace.
George Wise (1703-1779), a wood-turner, is known to have had a business in Tonbridge in 1746, at a time when the navigation of the Medway opened greater trade markets. J Whatman, the famous paper manufacturer used by many Georgian and Victorian publishers, also had his ‘Turkey Mill’ on the Medway, near Maidstone. George Wise, with his son Thomas (1750-1807), was advertising Tunbridge Ware by 1784. The firm developed as specialists in Tunbridge Ware and topographical print publishing. Thomas’s nephew, George (1779-1869) took over the business in 1806, so the above print was one of the last published by George’s son, Thomas, and would have been issued as a decoration on one of their famous whitewood workboxes or tea caddies.