FRAMED ORIGINAL HAND COLORED 1806 ENGRAVING OF THE DEATH OF NELSON AT TRAFALGAR

$450.00

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Item Code: 1032-58

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An original hand colored stipple engraving published in 1806. Nelson reaffirmed British naval supremacy by his defeat of the combined French and Spanish fleets off Cadiz in 1805, but at the cost of his own life. Victorious generals dying at the moment of their great victory have always had an attraction for the British and Nelson’s demise produced an onslaught of artistic representations of his last moments, and sometimes posthumous moments, such as his ascension to heaven or his funeral in London. In this print, he is shown just after receiving the fatal shot, falling back into the arms of another officer (likely Captain Hardy,) while still holding his sword to direct the fighting. Smoke from cannon and musketry fills the air. A French ship turns away at left and a Spanish ship at right. British marines fire away and a midshipman waves his hat in triumph at upper left, while a more observant officer clasps his hands in dismay at Nelson’s fall.

The engraving is titled at bottom: “To the memory of the immortal Nelson and to the honour of our brave countrymen who so nobly fought & conquered the combined fleets of France & Spain at the Battle of Trafalgar on the 21st of October1805, this engraving is inscribed by Edward Orme.” At left under print:"W.M. Craig pinxt." At right: "R. Cooper sculpt." Publication line: "Published & Sold June 1st. 1806, by Edwd. Orme Printseller to his Majesty, 59, Bond Street corner of Brook Street London." All of which means that Cooper made the engraving based on a painting by Craig and that it was published by Orme (who published other prints and books.)

Notice of the print’s publication was made in the Monthly Magazine in October 1806: “With naval architecture, and a few etceteras, which some persons may think absolutely necessary to constitute a critic upon a picture of shipping, we do not profess to be very conversant; but considered as pictures- with those of Vandevelde, Brooking, and some others, we have been highly gratified and delighted,- and must fairly acknowledge that, with us this delineation had not a similar effect. The engraving is in the chalk manner, and finished with a care and attention that is highly creditable to the engraver.”

The print is nicely framed, is in good condition and has strong color.  Frame measures 34 ¾” x 31 ½”; visible portion of print measures 22 ½” x 18 ½”. It would be a very nice addition to a naval collection.  [sr]

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