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Lot 166
Henry Scott Tuke, RA, RWS
(British, 1858-1929)
In the North Sea
25 January 2012, 14:00 GMT
London, New Bond Street

Sold for £4,000 inc. premium

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Henry Scott Tuke, RA, RWS (British, 1858-1929)

In the North Sea
signed and dated 'H. S. Tuke. 1908' (lower right); indistinctly inscribed 'North Sea/... for Nordenham' in pencil to the mount; inscribed 'Hull. Spring 1930. H.S.Tuke R.A. R.W.S. No 5. In the North Sea. 8 gns' on original label attached on reverse
17.5 x 24.5cm (6 7/8 x 9 5/8in).


Hull, Spring, 1930

This watercolour is a lively on the spot portrayal of life on board a tall ship sailing in rough weather. It was completed on board the Grace Harwar, which was a sailing ship run by Henry Scott Tuke's good friend, Captain James at the time. He had invited Tuke to sail on board from Falmouth to Nordenham. The journey took five days from 25–29th August 1908 as Tuke recorded the journey in his diary. On the 28th August he wrote, "On deck early, South Foreland light showing over Dover. From Deal made a bee-line for Terschelling lightship. Fierce squall and thunderstorms and a fiery sunset." Then on 29th, "Still a fair wind; the Brokum lightship, and at dusk Norderney, and early on Sunday picked up a Weser pilot who took is right up to Bermerhafen, with sail and tug."

Tuke completed two other known watercolours on this trip both in the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society's Tuke Collection in Falmouth, A Fair Wind, R605 and Bremerhaven from Nordenham from the deck of the Grace Harwar. (See p.138 of Henry Scott Tuke, Paintings from Cornwall by Catherine Wallace)

In this watercolour, painted when in the North Sea, the ship is clearly in full sail and the davits for the lifeboat are shown in the foreground as Tuke looks forward down the deck of the ship. He captures the rough weather with its darkening skies and he paints the sea with a dry brush implying the spray and foam from the breaking waves.

The Grace Harwar was a fully rigged steel hulled ship built in 1889 in Glasgow. She was 1,816 grosse tonnage. She was sold to Finnish owners in 1913 and again in 1916 to Gustav Erikson of Mariehamn, Åland. The Grace Harwar was also recorded by the photographer and writer Alan Villiers, when he sailed on her in 1929, the year Tuke died. The ship was broken up in 1935.

We are grateful to Catherine Wallace for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.

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