signed 'H.S.Tuke'and inscribed (lower left), inscribed on label on reverse, watercolour
24.8 x 35cm. (9 3/4 x 13 3/4in.)
Exhibited :- Royal Academy, Winter Exhibition, 1933.
Provenance :- G.L.Hone, Esq., Tewkesbury who bought this picture on a visit to Tuke's studio circa 1923/4 and thence by descent to the present owner.
Arguably one of the most famous ships in Great Britain when she returned home from the Antarctic in 1904, H.M.S. Discovery has enjoyed a long life and still survives as a museum ship in Dundee, the place of her birth.
Designed as a purpose-built research vessel and modelled on a whaleship of the same name, Discovery was launched from the Stevens Yard of the Dundee Shipbuilders Company in 1901. Ordered and paid for by the National Antarctic Expedition led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott, she displaced 1,570 tons and measured 171 feet in length with a 43 foot beam. Rigged as an auxiliary barque, she was fitted with a triple expansion engine capable of 8 knots and equipped with a hoisting propeller and rudder so as to avoid damage if imprisoned in ice. Leaving Cowes in August 1901, she entered the Ross Sea to discover Edward VII Land in January 1902 and then lay offshore when Captain Scott established his winter quarters near Mount Erebus on Ross Island for the duration of the expedition. Although remaining icebound throughout 1902-03, Discovery finally broke free in January 1904 and arrived back in Portsmouth that September.
Purchased by the Hudsons Bay Company in 1905, the company loaned her to the government to rescue Shackletons Antarctic party marooned on Elephant Island in 1916. More Antarctic survey work in the mid-1920s interspersed her commercial trading and, after being laid up from 1931-36, she was acquired as a training and hostel ship by the Boy Scouts Association which continued to use her, moored on the Embankment in London, until she was restored and returned to Dundee in 1986 where she remains.