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    Sale 5386

    Maritime

    21 May 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 47

    John Bentham-Dinsdale (b.1927)

    The action between Java and Constitution, 29th December, 1812; and The engagement between H.M.S. Frolic and U.S.S. Wasp, 18th October, 1812 (both illustrated)

    Price Realised  

    John Bentham-Dinsdale (b.1927)
    The action between Java and Constitution, 29th December, 1812; and The engagement between H.M.S. Frolic and U.S.S. Wasp, 18th October, 1812 (both illustrated)
    both signed 'John Bentham-Dinsdale' (lower left) and both further signed and inscribed as title (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    7 x 10 in. (17.8 x 25.4 cm.)
    a pair (2)


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    The defeat of H.M.S.Java was one of the several celebrated frigate actions of the Anglo-American War of 1812. Java, a captured French frigate absorbed into the Royal Navy in 1811, was en route to Bombay late in 1812 when she found it necessary to put into the Brazilian port of San Salvadore for fresh water. On the morning of 29th December, she sighted a vessel flying no colours and gave chase; her adversary turned out to be the American frigate Constitution which, despite the initial damage caused by Java's opening broadside, soon gained the upper hand. After about two hours Java was seriously damaged and at 6 o'clock, by which time the furious engagement had lasted fully four hours, she struck her colours and surrendered. The next day, Java's smouldering hulk, far too damaged to justify repair, was put to the torch and thereby provided the United States with a major propaganda coup as the year ended.

    The action between the brig H.M.S. Frolic and the U.S. brig Wasp was initially a British defeat when the former was surprised whilst escorting a convoy 240 miles north of Bermuda. Although the two vessels were evenly matched, Wasp's commander was a better tactician and, after a short but very spirited engagement, Frolic was battered into submission. The U.S. victory proved short-lived however, when both Wasp and her newly-taken prize were captured by the 74-gun H.M.S Poictiers which came upon the scene unexpectedly.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.