The East Indiaman Ponsborne in three positions off coastal waters signed and dated 'F. Holman 1779' (lower left) oil on canvas 36 x 59in (91.4 x 149.8cm)
PROVENANCE: Captain James Thomas; thence by descent in the family to the present owner.
Designed to carry both passengers and goods as well as defend itself against piracy, the East Indiaman Ponsborne was launched in 1780. She measured 143 feet in length and was registered at 804 tons. James Thomas joined as second mate on her first voyage and was sworn in as her commander in November 1785 sailing her to far off ports such as Bombay and China. Requisitioned for an expedition against the French in the West Indies in 1795, the Ponsborne was wrecked off the coast of Granada on the 26th of March 1796. A portrait of Captain James Thomas attributed to Sir William Beechey (1753-1839), measuring 30 1/4 x 25 1/2in, accompanies this lot.