• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5130

    Maritime

    14 November 2007, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 96

    Tommaso de Simone (Italian, fl.1855-1858)

    H.M.S. Northumberland and other ships of the so-called 'Black Battlefleet' at sea

    Price Realised  

    Tommaso de Simone (Italian, fl.1855-1858)
    H.M.S. Northumberland and other ships of the so-called 'Black Battlefleet' at sea
    signed and dated 'De Simone 1896' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    16½ x 25 in. (42 x 63.5 cm.)


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    H.M.S. Northumberland was one of a unique group of battleships, the only five-masters ever built. Laid down at Millwall in 1861 and finally completed in 1868, her main armament consisted of 48-68pdrs. and she could steam at 14 knots. Refitted and cut down to a three-masted barque in 1875, she remained at sea until 1890 after which she was laid up in reserve until 1898. Employed as a training ship for stokers, 1898-1909, she then became a coal hulk until sold in 1927 and taken to Dakar.

    The 'Black Battlefleet' was a contemporary term applied to those mid-Victorian ironclads whose hulls were painted a sombre plain black.

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