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A popular series of naval prints is the Naval Achievements of Great Britain. These are hand colored prints engraved in 1812 and feature man of war ships and sea battles during the Napoleonic War. Sea shell prints.
The Naval Achievements of Great Britain is an outstanding example and pictorial record of the major sea battle of the Napoleonic Wars including The Nile, Copenhagen and Nelson's victory at Trafalgar. The original paintings were done by Thomas Whitcombe, one of the finest marine painters of the time. The original issue has 55 hand colored aquatint plates of the highest quality completed by Sutherland, Bailey and Jeakes.
'As a record of naval events spanning a period of over twenty years Jenkins' Naval Achievements has no precedent. It is the quality of the accuracy which makes Jenkins so valuable above all, and it is the pictures rather than the text to which the value can be attributed' (Roger Quarm, the National Maritime Museum). These Napoleonic encounters at sea are arguably the best and most attractive plates of their kind. Abbey (Life), 337. The movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World depicted many of the actions of the Napoleonic Wars from the Naval Achievements of Great Britain.
A much underrated work of color printing, the illustrations of "Man of Wars" and "Ironclads" especially are of great detail. The ship plates are signed W.F. Mitchell, one of the finest illustrators of this kind of book, some costumes signed W.C. Symons.
Charles Rathbone Low served as a Lieutenant in the Indian Navy and published numerous historical studies on maritime themes, including 'History of the Indian Navy (1613-1863)'. Symons was an English decorative designer who notably produced mosaic work at Westminster Cathedral, yet he is best known as a painter in oil and watercolor. Mitchell was also a renowned British artist, commissioned to paint many naval and merchant ships. Many originals are held in the National Maritime Museum Collection in Greenwich, England.
The series consists of 180 hand-colored engraved plates, some heightened in white or with gum arabic. The prints were carefully engraved and are a fine representation of sea shells.
Donovan is known for his careful illustrations of wildlife - mainly birds, insects, fish and shells. He used examples of brought back to museums and private collections from voyages and expeditions. Donovan's works had limited distribution because of their expense. In addition. they are popular as, for their plates.
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