Early 19th Century Maritime Paintings

Two early 19th century maritime paintings going under the hammer

The September 30th sale at Dawsons will see two early 19th century maritime paintings going under the hammer, each by a notable English artist of the period and genre.


‘The Ness at Teignmouth’ by Thomas Luny (1759-1837), signed and dated 1815, re-visits a popular scene for the artist, with a Royal Navy frigate anchored off the coast and figures on the shore, all beneath storm clouds. Luny had moved to Teignmouth in Devon in 1807, having spent much of his time in London and then Europe, and he was at his most prolific at this point in his career until his death thirty years later. He was commissioned widely to produce maritime works, with views from Teignmouth being a common theme. Other examples of his work are held at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (Exeter) and at the Mariners’ Museum in Virginia, USA. This painting, measuring 49 cm by 66 cm, bears gallery labels verso for 'Pawsey & Payne, 1 Bury Street, St James's Square' and David Messum, Beaconsfield, and is estimated at £10,000 - £15,000.



The second work is by Thomas Buttersworth (1768-1842), titled ‘The Loss of the 'Royal George' 104 Guns off Spithead, 29th August 1782', is a dramatic account of the sinking of a noted warship. HMS Royal George was the largest warship in the world at the time of her launch on 18th February 1756. She sank during maintenance work to the hull in 1782, when the intended 'roll' put on the boat saw water entering due to rough seas, just off the coast near Portsmouth. More than 800 lives were lost, making it one of the worst maritime disasters to occur in British waters. The painting (measuring 55 cm x 84 cm), depicts various rescue boats and many figures clambering the masts and the sides of the ship in an attempt to escape. Thomas Buttersworth had served in the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars period, prior to becoming an artist, and although little exhibited during his lifetime, produced a number of similar works to this, depicting battle and action scenes. It comes from the same source as the Luny painting, having been purchased from David Messum in Beaconsfield by local buyers, and is estimated at £15,000 - £20,000.



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Nicky Houston

Nicky Houston

Our resident paintings expert, Nicky is a highly respected Auctioneer & Valuer, who had dreams of becoming an artist. Whilst she may not have made it as a successful artist herself, Nicky has helped many a customer to successfully sell and buy beautiful works of art over her many years working within the auction industry.

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