Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
druxey

16th century ship colors

There is an interesting painting to be auctioned by Sotheby's in Paris on March 30, lot 18. It is a full-length portrait, reputed to be of Sir Francis Drake. However, what is interesting is in the background. It shows a long, low, 'race-built' vessel with three masts. Unfortunately a lot of mast and rigging detail has been lost by over-cleaning, but much remains. The hull is black overall. The forecastle and quarter deck bulwarks are red with white striped borders. One can see a side gallery protruding, but not one around the stern. There appears to be gilding below the beakhead on the knee of the head. An ensign flies at the stern. It contains a St George's cross at the upper part of the hoist, and six alternate red and white horizontal stripes.

mtaylor, trippwj, allanyed and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The black hull is probably tarred, or the artist's interpretation of tar.

The stripes on the hull seem to have been common.

Striped ensigns were not uncommon, I suspect used to delineate squadrons, or commanders or the particular service the ship was under.

The Warwick Roll is a good source of 16th century ships' appearance.

Pick up that painting when it comes up and we can take a better look at it, druxey.

mtaylor, trippwj and Chuck Seiler like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting portrait - I wonder how accurate the "British School, 19th Century" classification is?  If it were by Hilliard (note they indicate " IN THE MANNER OF NICHOLAS HILLIARD" ) it would certainly be from the right era.  A 19th Century portrait would certainly prompt some closer checking for the details and accuracy there of.

 

Did you note the similarity between the Presumed portrait of Drake http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/lot.18.html/2017/collection-bacri-pf1719  and the portrait by Hilliard of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland found here:  http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw01666/George-Clifford-3rd-Earl-of-Cumberland

 

mtaylor, roach101761 and Archi like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like a standard pose, Wayne. I assume from the costume details that this was a fairly accurate copy of an earlier work.

 

Joel, I took the black to be a tar finish. The red panels with white borders are reminiscent of later arming cloths. To me, the most interesting detail was the gilded area on the knee of the head. It was a relatively exposed part of the hull and would need renewing frequently, one would think!

 

 

trippwj likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.