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    Sale 5808

    Travel, Science & Natural History

    8 April 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 192

    English School, 1840s

    Mexican Antiquities from the Island of Sacrificious off Vera Cruz, from Excavations made in the year 1840, by Captain Evan Nepean whilst in Command of H.M.Ship Comus

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    English School, 1840s
    Mexican Antiquities from the Island of Sacrificious off Vera Cruz, from Excavations made in the year 1840, by Captain Evan Nepean whilst in Command of H.M.Ship Comus
    a folio containing 14 watercolours of Mexican antiquities, with manuscript title page with watercolour illustration of 'Montizuma's Cup/In the possession of Lord Amherst', with owner's labels inscribed 'Rear Admiral Evan Nepean' and 'Drawings of antiquities now in the British Museum from the Island of Sacrificios off Vera Cruz' attached to the inside of the upper board
    watercolour and bodycolour on paper heightened with white and gum arabic
    19 x 12in. (48.3 x 30.5cm.)
    with a printed account of 'Certain Antiquities in the Island of Sacrificios communicated to the Society of Antiquaries by Captain Nepean', published by J.B. Nichols and Son, London, 1843 (16)


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    Captain Evan Nepean took command of Comus in 1839, an 18-gun sloop on the West India station, where he was principally employed in affording protection to British trade during the revoloutionary unrest in New Grenada (modern Columbia, with coast in the Gulf of Mexico). Comus was probably based at Vera Cruz at the time. These watercolours are believed to have been drawn by Captain Nepean subsequent to his excavations at Vera Cruz.

    Nepean was the second son of Lieutenant-General Nicholas Nepean, one of the first of three young captains appointed by Francis Grose to the newly formed New South Wales Corps. Nepean arrived in Sydney in June 1790 and was acting commanding officer of the corps until Grose's arrival in Port Jackson in February 1792.

    This collection of Antiqities is now held at the British Museum.

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    Provenance

    Rear Admiral Evan Nepean, and thence by decent to the present owner