A large naive watercolour of HMS Phaeton of 38 Guns.
HMS Phaeton was a renowned ship at the end of the 18th and early 19th centuries.
John Smallshaw (Smallshaw & Company) built Phaeton in Liverpool between 1780 and 1782, a 38-gun, Minerva-class fifth rate of Britain's Royal Navy.
This frigate was most noted for her intrusion into Nagasaki harbour in 1808. She participated in numerous engagements during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars during which service she captured many prizes.
Francis Beaufort, inventor of the Beaufort Wind-Scale, was a lieutenant on Phaeton when he distinguished himself during a successful cutting out expedition*. Phaeton sailed to the Pacific in 1805, and returned in 1812. She was finally sold on 26 March 1828.
* The use of one or more small boats to attack and capture, preferably at night, and unsuspecting and anchored target.
It is interesting to note that her dimensions were only 141 ft (42.98 m) in length with a beam of 39 ft (11.89 m) and yet carried a crew of 280. One can only imagine what the life on board must have been like.
For further tales of ‘daring do’ see her Wikipedia entry
Under glass and housed in a burr wood frame, with new mount.
Watercolour and pencil on paper. Unsigned
Late 18th century/ 1st decade 19th century
Frame: 21.5” x 19.75” 55cm x 50cm
Sight ex mount: 15.5” x 14” 40cm x 36cm
Period Japanese drawing of HMS Phaeton (Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture)