Thomas Jacques Somerscales (British, 1842-1927)  'Frigate (latter end of 18th. Century) recovering h
Lot 100
Thomas Jacques Somerscales (British, 1842-1927) 'Frigate (latter end of 18th. Century) recovering her boat which had been lowered to rescue a man' 40.7 x 61cm. (16 x 24in.)
Sold for £22,705 (US$ 36,442) inc. premium

Lot Details
Thomas Jacques Somerscales (British, 1842-1927)
'Frigate (latter end of 18th. Century) recovering her boat which had been lowered to rescue a man'
signed 'T.Somerscales' and dated 1905 (lower right), signed, inscribed with title and 'Painted for G. Shaw Esq. by T Somerscales, June 9th. 1905'
oil on canvas
40.7 x 61cm. (16 x 24in.)

Footnotes

  • Provenance :- G. Shaw Esq., Hull.
    :- Frederick James Rigg and thence by descent.

    Both this and the following lot were painted by Somerscales for G. Shaw, Esq., of Hull. Family repute has it that Shaw and Frederick James Rigg were colleagues in Civil Engineering and that these two pictures were given to Rigg (grandfather of the present owner) by Shaw.

    Frederick James Rigg was born on the 19th. July, 1877 and began his career working for his father in London (both his father and grandfather were engineers). After serving his time with an engineering works in East London, he became Resident Engineer for the Millwall Dock Equipment Company in 1901 (the vendor has a sepia photograph of a group of men including Shaw and Rigg inscribed 'Engineer's Dept. Millwall Dock Co. Aug. 1902'). In 1903 he started work as a draughtsman in the Dock Engineer's Department of the North-Eastern Railway, Hull and was later appointed engineer in charge of the construction of the 2,500-ft-long Riverside Quay and its adjoining roads, railways, station and sheds, etc. After a distinguished career which included a four-year posting to Singapore, he retired aged 82 and died in 1964 (:- 'Proceedings : The Institution of Civil Engineers', Vol.34, June 1966).

    This composition of an eighteenth century frigate’s boatcrew picking up a man from the sea is very reminiscent of the artist’s ‘Corvette shortening sail to pick up a shipwrecked crew’ which Somerscales entered as his very first Royal Academy exhibit in 1893. That work was so well received that it established Somerscales’ reputation in England at a stroke even though he was, by then, 50 years old.
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