Whatman paper was made at the Whatman Turkey Mill in Kent from 1733 onwards. John Whatman invented high quality light woven paper that took an impression and was probably responsible for the invention of the woven wire mesh used to mould and align pulp fibres- allowing mass production.

In 1790 Whatman Mill became Balston Mill which also manufactured scientific and watercolour papers. It shut down in 1955.

Holding the paper I was just entranced by its age – that something so fragile had come to me unscathed from 154 years ago.  

I chose to honour the age of my tiny piece of paper by painting an 1864 half penny on it.

An original coin shows a very young Queen Victoria – her hair loosely bound up with a wreath of leaves and a low cut girlish dress. I chose a coin where age and use have worn her image down to a ghost.

I also painted the  obverse of the coin- Great Brittania seated on the rocks holding his shield- on the back of the paper. 

Franny Swann

/ 1864 / Fanny Swann / Young Victoria Half Penny / Paper, acrylic, watercolour, fibre pen, and Chinese inks
1 / 1864 / Half Penny / Franny Swann / Paper, acrylic, watercolour, fibre pen, and Chinese inks

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