Album of pencil and watercolour sketches of the Mediterranean, including views of the coast of Spain, Gibraltar, Majorca, Corfu, and Alexandria Troas on the Turkish Aegean coast.
An attractive collection of watercolour views and panoramas of the Mediterranean coast, excellent quality officer’s sketches by the young British naval lieutenant George Goldsmith. The album was compiled during his service on HMS brig-sloop Childers, commander Henry Keppel, near the coast of Spain in May 1834 – April 1839. The majority of the views depict the north-eastern coast of Spain, with highly-detailed and well-finished double-page panoramas of Barcelona “from the outer mole”, Valencia, Alicante and Malaga. The other views depict “Port Vendre, East Coast of Spain”, Cadiz, “Roland’s Gap” (Le Brèche de Roland), Altea, Tarragona, Cape St. Antono and Cartagena. The latter, dated 27 June 1836 is supplemented with an interesting comment on local navigation, a reminder of the original purpose of these coastal profiles: “N.B. Carthagena may be known at a distance by the high brown land marked with a cross to the left of the harbour which is rather a peculiar shape & her another hill line is a short distance to the left not included in the sketch. The land immediately in the neighbourhood of the harbour & town appears very low.” The album also includes five studies taken of the ruins of the ancient Greek city Alexandria Troas on the coast of the Aegean Sea in modern Turkey, with panoramas of the ruins “in a thickly wooded country”; “Interior of a Ruin at Alexandria Troas beneath the present level of the land”; and “Inscription on the ruined pedestal of a Statue at Alexandria Troas”. The other views depict Bellver Castle of Majorca (Palma castle and Lazaretto), the embankment and the palace of Corfu, “Entrance to the Grotto of Antiparos” and entrance to the Straits of Salamis – “French liner & Frigate standing in”. There are also two portraits of HMS Childers herself, an image of a “trading lugger of SE coast of Spain” and three portraits, two of women in Spanish costumes and a pencil study of one of Goldsmith’s young crewmates sleeping. George Goldsmith joined the Royal Navy in 1821 and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (1828), Commander (1841), Captain (1842), Vice-Admiral (1867) and Admiral (1875). Goldsmith served in the Mediterranean, West Coast of Africa and the East Indies. He took part in the 1st Anglo-Chinese War, with HMS Hyacinth; and the Crimean War in command of HMS Sidon. Upon return to Britain he became Superintendent of the dockyard at Chatham and was created Companion of the Bath for his services in the Crimea.
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Landscape quarto (208 280 mm). Contemporary half white paper on green board sketch-book. Housed in a green quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery. 21 leaves. With 27 watercolours and drawings, the majority in colour, just 4 are solely in pencil, including 11 double-page panoramas. All but 3, which are portraits/costume studies, have pencil or ink captioning and annotation. Externally a little rubbed and soiled, light browning to the contents, but overall very well preserved.