• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5130

    Maritime

    14 November 2007, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 17

    Naval School (c.1873)

    H.M. Ships Hercules and Northumberland off Funchal, Madeira, effecting repairs after the two vessels had collided on Christmas Day, 1872

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Naval School (c.1873)
    H.M. Ships Hercules and Northumberland off Funchal, Madeira, effecting repairs after the two vessels had collided on Christmas Day, 1872
    signed with initials and dated 'FMM 1873' (lower right)
    pencil and watercolour heightened with white
    11 x 19½ in. (28 x 49.5 cm.)


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    The iron battleship Hercules, built at Chatham in 1866-68, was still on her first commission with the Channel Fleet when, on 25th December 1872, off Funchal, Madeira, she collided with her consort H.M.S. Northumberland whose faulty cables had allowed her to drift in a gale. Both ships were holed below the waterline but damage was relatively slight and each remained afloat to effect temporary repairs before being towed into dock. Remarkably, both battleships returned to service and became extremely long-lived; Northumberland, laid down in 1861 and completed in 1868, survived as a hulk until at least 1927 and Hercules was only finally broken up in 1932.

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