Pair of Engravings - British Naval Victories, 1795 & 1805
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Each overall: 46cm (18in) x 37cm (14.5in)
A pair of George III engravings illustrating historical victories over the Dutch Republic and Catholic Spain; the first being the Dutch fleet defeated off Harwich with allegorical figures between trophies above, and portrait medallions of the Duke of York (the future James II), Prince Rupert and the Earl of Sandwich below. After Dominic Serres. Engraved by James Fittler, A.R.A., (1758-1835), marine engraver to King George III. Published by Robert Bowyer, proprietor of the Historic Gallery, Pall Mall, London, February 1795. Contained in Hogarth frame under verre-eglomisé mount.
A somewhat wishful interpretation of an episode from the Second Dutch War when the Dutch force sailed up the Thames, sinking several English ships and taking the Royal Charles in tow as a trophy of war. The Dutch withdrew after a failed landing. Samuel Pepys noted in his diary on 19 July 1667: "The Dutch fleete are in great squadrons everywhere still about Harwich, and were lately at Portsmouth; and the last letters say at Plymouth … Sir W. Batten at table cried, By God, says he, I think the Devil shits Dutchmen."
The second being H.M.S. Expedition commanded by Captain Wager opening fire on a Spanish treasure ship off Cartagene de Indias; surmounted by his oval portrait medallion flanked by trophies and a recumbent mastiff. Engraved by John Landseer. Published by Robert Bowyer, proprietor of the Historic Gallery, Pall Mall, 2 June 1805. Contained in Hogarth frame under verre-eglomisé mount.
Admiral Sir Charles Wager (1660-1743) was a naval officer with an eye for organisation. He was also a diplomat and politician. He was given command at Jamaica in 1707 and, defeated a Spanish treasure-fleet off Cartagena in 1708; He later blockaded Cadiz and became First Lord of the Admiralty. He dined at the home of Samuel Pepys who remarked in his diary 'A brave, stout fellow this Captain is, and I think very honest.’