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    Sale 7489

    Important Maritime Art

    31 October 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 60

    Samuel Owen (1768-1857)

    H.M.S. Dido engaging the French frigate La Minerve, with H.M.S. Lowestoft chasing L'Artémise beyond, 24th June 1795

    Price Realised  


    Samuel Owen (1768-1857)
    H.M.S. Dido engaging the French frigate La Minerve, with H.M.S. Lowestoft chasing L'Artémise beyond, 24th June 1795
    signed 'S. Owen' (lower left, on wreckage)
    grey ink and watercolour
    13½ x 18¾ in. (34.3 x 47.7 cm.)
    Sold with a framed account of the action, formerly published in The London Gazette (2)

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    In the early stages of the French Revolutionary War, there was much activity in the western Mediterranean, particularly off or near the enemy's principal naval base at Toulon. In June 1795, with the French fleet at sea and a British fleet searching for it, their respective commanding Admirals each despatched two frigates to ascertain the other's movements. Despite the vastness of the open sea, early on the morning of 24th June, north of Minorca, the four frigates sighted each other and prepared to engage. The largest vessel present, the French 40-gun Minerve, attacked first H.M.S. Dido, 28-guns, and then H.M.S. Lowestoft, 32-guns, but Lowestoft soon turned away to pursue the 36-gun Artémise which was attempting to flee. In the event, the retreating Frenchman got clean away so Lowestoft returned to the fierce duel between Dido and Minerve just in time to witness the latter's surrender. After repair, Minerve was assimilated into the Royal Navy under her own name and Dido's commanding officer, Captain George Towry, was commended both for his gallantry in engaging a far superior adversary as well as for capturing her.

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    Saleroom Notice

    Please note there is only one item in the lot and not as stated in the catalogue

    Pre-Lot Text



    A watercolourist of coastal views and fishing scenes, Samuel Owen had a far more romantic approach to painting than most eighteenth century marine artists. His work was dedicated to atmosphere, composition and movement.

    He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, London, from 1794 to 1807 and his drawings were engraved by William Bernard Cooke (1778-1855) for his work entitled, The Thames, published in 1811. He later collaborated with William Westall (1781-1850) to produce a publication entitled Picturesque Tour of the River Thames, Ackermann, London, 1828.

    His work is strongly represented in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.