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Author John Turpin, who has written an account of the Dublin School of art, records that in 1782 two chemists, George Cowan
and Henry Graham, submitted a new range of watercolours for approval before a sub-committee of ten artists and print sellers set up by the Dublin Society.

This charitable body had been established the previous year to promote local industry, and when the
sub-committee reported ‘great merit’ in the chemists’ ‘invention’ the Society commissioned two palettes as awards.

This example, struck for Richard Williams, Dublin 1783, was presented to Mr Cowan. Part of the Neales (15 per cent buyer’s premium) attic clearance of Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, on March 13, the palette made £3900.