Eduardo Federico de Martino (Italian, 1838-1912)  The Jubilee Naval Review at Spithead, 23rd.June 18
Lot 36
Eduardo Federico de Martino (Italian, 1838-1912) The Jubilee Naval Review at Spithead, 23rd.June 1887; The Jubilee Naval Review at Spithead, 26th. June 1897 each 42 x 110.5cm. (16 1/2 x 43 1/2in.), together with two keys to the above watercolours in pencil, pen and ink, each 9.5 x 34.6cm. (3 3/4 x 13 5/8in.), (4)
Sold for £8,400 (US$ 13,184) inc. premium

Lot Details
Eduardo Federico de Martino (Italian, 1838-1912)
The Jubilee Naval Review at Spithead, 23rd.June 1887; The Jubilee Naval Review at Spithead, 26th. June 1897
the first indistinctly signed 'Eduardo de Martino' (lower right); the latter signed 'Eduardo de Martino' and dated '1897' (lower right)
both watercolour heightened with white
each 42 x 110.5cm. (16 1/2 x 43 1/2in.), together with two keys to the above watercolours in pencil, pen and ink, each 9.5 x 34.6cm. (3 3/4 x 13 5/8in.), (4)

Footnotes

  • In an age of grand royal events, few – if any – were more spectacular than the two great ‘Reviews of the Fleet’ staged to celebrate first the Golden Jubilee and then the Diamond Jubilee of the reign of Queen Victoria.

    Fleet reviews had been held at Spithead intermittently since 1773 but the event planned for the high summer of 1887, to mark the Golden Jubilee [50th Anniversary] of the Queen’s accession, was intended to outshine all those which had gone before. In all, 135 vessels of all kinds were assembled, including 26 ironclads and, on 23rd July, 20,200 officers and men manned yards or lined decks to salute their Queen Empress as she progressed through the fleet in the royal yacht ‘Victoria & Albert’. The Queen was clearly delighted with the day and, afterwards, declared herself as much touched by the loyalty of her sailors as she was impressed by the might of her Navy.

    The Golden Jubilee Review of 1887 was deemed such a success that ten years later, to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, an even larger and more splendid event was planned. In all, 165 British warships were ordered to Spithead and, gradually, formed themselves into four lines, each five miles in length. When the day itself dawned on 26th June 1897, the greatest demonstration of naval power the world had ever seen lay at anchor to honour its sovereign. Two similar lines of foreign warships had also come to pay their respects and it was therefore seen as particularly sad that the Queen’s age – she was by now 78 years old – precluded her attendance. In her place her eldest son, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), took the salute as the ‘Victoria & Albert’ cruised along the seemingly endless lines of ships and the day concluded with the vast armada dressed overall with electric lights. The Prince of Wales, the entire royal family, innumerable foreign royalty and, in fact, everyone present agreed that it had been a triumphant day and one which, in the years ahead, would be seen as the apogee of British imperial power.

    Eduardo de Martino, C.V.O., became a close friend of the Prince of Wales in the late 1870s, and thereafter accompanied the future King on many cruises as well as attending him at special events all around the British Isles. Queen Victoria was also extremely enamoured of his work and appointed him Marine Painter-in-Ordinary in 1895.
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