Capture of La Pique 1795
Capture of La Pique, January 5th 1795. Published Sept 1st 1816. Painted by T. Whitcombe. Engraved by T. Sutherland. Publish'd Feb 1st 1817 at 48 Strand for J. Jenkin's Naval Achievements. Included with the print is the original folio text pages account of the action as first published with the aquatint.
La Pique', a French 40-gun frigate, was captured by 'Blanche', a Royal Navy frigate of 32 guns, after several hours of fierce fighting in the early hours of 5 January 1795, off Guadeloupe, during which 'Blanche''s captain Robert Faulknor was fatally wounded by musket-ball shot. 'Blanche', with only her foremast intact, is shown on the right of the picture in starboard-broadside view, just ahead of, and firing her stern guns at, 'La Pique', whose toppling mizzen is about to leave her completely dismasted.
Original aquatint engraving on medium weight wove paper with wide margins. Good overall condition with exceptional original colour. The plate has the date of publication and the name of the publisher beneath the engraved title. The approx engraved image area of the plate is 7" x 10.25" (175mm x 260mm). Engraved plate mark area is approx 8.5 x 11.75 (215mm x 300mm). The folio sheet size is approx 11.5" x 14" (290mm x 355mm).
Excerpt from the written account as published:
Copy of a Letter from Lieutenant F. Watkins, First of the Blanche, to Vice-Admiral CALDWELL, Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Ships and Vessels in the West Indies, dated January 5, 1795.
I take the earliest opportunity of informing you of my arrival here with La Pique, a French frigate of 38 guns, belonging to the National Convention of France; which Captain Faulkner brought to action at a quarter-past twelve a.m. Mariegalante E. half S. three miles. It is with the utmost regret I have to inform you, that he fell in the action. In him his Majesty has lost a brave and gallant officer, whom I most sincerely lament, as must every one who knew his merit.
I cannot sufficiently express my thanks to Lieutenants Milne and Pricket, also to the other officers, and the ship's company, for their cool and determined bravery on this occasion; and am happy to add, that the enemy's ship struck her colours at a quarter-past five p.m. From the best information I have been able to obtain, she had 360 men on board when we brought her to action, and I have great reason to suppose her loss to be about 70 killed and 110 wounded.
Inclosed I have the honour to send you the return of killed and wounded on board his Majesty's ship Blanche.
F. WATKINS, First Lieutenant. Killed, eight (including Captain Faulkner); wounded, twenty.
James Jenkins The Naval Achievements of Great Britain. From the Year 1793 to 1817." As a record of naval events spanning a period of over twenty years it has no precedent. At no time prior to 1817 had a publisher attempted such a complete volume of documentary naval prints. It is the quality of accuracy which makes Jenkins so valuable" Roger Quarm curator of pictures at the National Maritime Museum 1998.
A genuine antique print over 200 years old.