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Capt. Paul Jones Shooting a Sailor who had Attempted to Strike his Colours in an Engagement. London: Sayer & Bennett, January 1, 1780.
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF AMBASSADOR J. WILLIAM MIDDENDORF II
CAPT. PAUL JONES SHOOTING A SAILOR WHO HAD ATTEMPTED TO STRIKE HIS COLOURS IN AN ENGAGEMENT

SAYER & BENNETT, 1780

Details
CAPT. PAUL JONES SHOOTING A SAILOR WHO HAD ATTEMPTED TO STRIKE HIS COLOURS IN AN ENGAGEMENT
Sayer & Bennett, 1780

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Lot Essay

Capt. Paul Jones Shooting a Sailor who had Attempted to Strike his Colours in an Engagement. London: Sayer & Bennett, January 1, 1780.

A dramatic rendering of one of the most memorable naval battles of the War of Independence. Jones' engagement with the H.M.S. Serapis is captured here in its late stages as Jones prepares to shoot one of his own seamen for attempting to strike the American colors. The 1779 action at Flamborough Head is regarded widely as the place where Jones, responding to British demands to surrender, responded: "I have not yet begun to fight." This image was produced for British consumption--playing into the perception of Jones as a bloodthirsty pirate: "The British public liked to make its flesh creep with tales of the terrible Jones, and this print, manifestly designed for nonaristocratic consumption, is a good specimen of such thrillers" (An Album of American Battle Art p. 40). Smith, American Naval Broadsides, p. 24.

Hand-colored mezzotint. Plate: 13 3/4 x 9 3/4 in (350- x 250mm), sheet: 14 7/16 x 10 1/2 in (367x 270mm). (Small tear along top margin at plate mark, light soiling.) Matted and framed.

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