Albany Howard Wilson, Sailing Ship with Profile Sketch - 1822 graphite drawing


An original 1822 graphite drawing, Albany Howard Wilson Sailing Ship with Profile Sketch.

An energetically executed graphite sketch of a sailing ship, with a face drawn in profile below. Albany Howard Wilson, signed below, was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. He died at Greenwich in 1832 at the young age of 37. Paper includes an 1813 Molineux & Johnston, Triple Plume with Coronet (Prince of Wales) watermark running horizontally centre. 

Signed and dated lower right. Inscribed verso with a 'Proverb of Love' by Le Chevalier Vatan: 'De deux coeurs qu'unisent l'amitie sincère. La Mort ne fait qu'un malheureux. L'absence est plus sevère. Elle frappe tous le deux', or 'Two hearts unite in sincere friendship. Death is not the only misfortunate. Absence is the most severe, and it strikes both'. Caroline.
Minor foxing and age toning as shown. Tinting from historical application of gum arabic wash on the image. Tear to the lower right edge. Crease to the upper left edge. 
25.2cm x 19.1cm.

This work is one of a collection we have for sale from an early nineteenth-century album with a cover inscription that reads ’The Property of St. Cyres Guest House, Jersey’. The label is a bit of a misnomer, as the book was actually used as a commonplace album once owned by a Jane Dorothea Warde, daughter of the Reverend Richard Warde at Yalding Vicarage in Kent. Executed by a number of hands, and filled with rich prose, poetry and artworks spanning from 1812 to 1827, the works in this book form a microcosm of popular taste in the late Georgian world, but also of the cultivated intimacy that passed freely between family and friends. 

The inscription on the first page reads ‘Jane Warde, from her brother R.R. (Richard Ramsay) Warde, June 26th, 1817’, indicating that it is likely that as a book of blank paper, the album was either found or bought and then gifted and reused by the then sixteen-year-old Jane as a place to collect personal items from family, friends and acquaintances. The book was likely printed some years earlier, in 1813, which would explain why a majority of the images in this collection bear an 1813 Molineux & Johnston (M&J) Prince of Wales paper watermark regardless of the date on the image. Jane appears to have moved in upper class circles - outside of many family members whose names can be traced in the book, it also includes works by high members of the Royal Navy, the children of wealthy landowners from Scotland and Wales, as well as a banker from Brighton, who later became infamous for swindling his investors in a widely publicised court case in 1842.

Though the skill level varies between artists, and the works range from impromptu drawings to copies of popular prints, each work is crafted with delicate attention to detail, with even the more cursory drawings containing an element of wit and vivacity. Each image tells a small piece of the story of its individual artist, and is an exciting piece of the historical record of late Georgian society.

Text copyright © 2017 Somerset & Wood Fine Art Ltd. All rights reserved.

Product code: JG-525

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