Montague Dawson

Lot Details

Lot 12
Montague Dawson
British, 1890-1973
Chasing the Slaver: Her Majesty's Brig Acorn in Chase of the Piratical Slave Gabriel, July 6th, 1841
Signed Montague Dawson (ll)
Watercolor with traces of pencil on paper laid down on board
21 x 29 3/8 inches (53.4 x 74.5 cm)

Parliament's passage of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1806 not only promulgated Britain's increasing discomfort with human trafficking, but also led to formation of the Royal Navy's West African Squadron, based in Sierra Leone and charged with the elimination of the Atlantic slave trade. Vessels such as the H.M.S. Acorn policed the West African coast, stopping, searching and seizing ships suspected of carrying slaves. The present work depicts a notorious incident on July 6, 1841, when the Acorn spotted the Iberian Gabriel angling to pillage the British India, a barque relaying migrants to Australia. According to the contemporary Journal de Havre:

At three in the afternoon the Acorn fired, and the Gabriel returned the fire, at the same time hoisting Portuguese colours. The chase continued for twelve hours, during the whole of which time firing was kept up by both vessels, but eventually the Gabriel was dismasted and captured.

The escapade documented in this work was initially inspired by the masterful oil of the same event by Nicholas Matthew Condy, The Capture of the Slaver Gabriel by HMS Acorn, 6 July 1841,which is presently housed in the Royal Museum at Greenwich. An almost exact composition in oil by Dawson also exists.


C Property of a New York Collector

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Unsold

Additional Notes & Condition Report

Few tiny tears along the top edge. Minor wear and creases in corners (very tips of corners). 5 inch faint thin line of discoloration at upper right corner.

Inscribed on the backing 1330/Fantorme [sic] & Sunbeam/Montague Dawson and 4157.


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Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Unsold

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Tue, Nov 05, 2013 at 11am EST
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