Sailors Playing Cards in the Forecastle, 1840
Sailors Playing Cards in the Forecastle, 1840
Sailors Playing Cards in the Forecastle, 1840
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Sailors Playing Cards in the Forecastle, 1840

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Overall: 26.5cm (10in) x 35.5cm (14in)

Watercolour and pencil on paper. A scene from the last years of the  Age of Sail. Attributed to William Clerihew, formerly the property of an English collector - inscribed verso - ‘sketches 1843 etc. S Lot 18 18.4.68’.  Image size: 14.9cm x 23.9cm.

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William Clerihew (1811–1870) was born into a prosperous Episcopalian family in Aberdeen, and was educated at Marischal College. In 1836 he began to train as an architect, becoming an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1839, but three years later he sailed for India where he was to teach Astronomy and Physics in Calcutta. En route he made paintings of a comet, which were later presented to the Royal Astronomical Society in London. He continued to paint in India and later in Ceylon where he managed an isolated coffee estate from 1845. It was a solitary life with few diversions. Painting remained a constant companion while he improved his plantation into the model estate on the island. In 1851 he visited Bombay, Aden, Cairo, the Middle East, Cyprus and Greece. William found commercial success with a patent stove and apparatus for curing coffee, which he exhibited in London winning The Society for the Arts gold medal and the Isis gold medal from Prince Albert.