William Adolphus Knell, Sen. (London c.1808-1875)
William Adolphus Knell, Sen. (London c.1808-1875)

The East Indiaman Exeter making for the Ladrone Islands, China, 1805

Details
William Adolphus Knell, Sen. (London c.1808-1875)
The East Indiaman Exeter making for the Ladrone Islands, China, 1805
signed 'W.A. Knell' (lower left)
oil on canvas
28 x 36 in. (71.2 x 91.4 cm.)
Provenance
with David Messum Fine Art, London.

Lot Essay

The East Indiaman Exeter, 1,200 tons, was built in 1792 and made eight round trips to the East prior to 1811 when she disappears from record. Clearing Portsmouth on 5th April 1793, her maiden passage lasted well into the following year and it was not until August 1794 that she found herself back in home waters. Thereafter, all her voyages took place whilst England and France were at war and Exeter was in action on several occasions, most notably at the celebrated capture of La Médée in 1800 when her French captain mistook Exeter for a ship-of-war. Also involved in Commodore Dance's famous encounter with a French squadron in the Malacca Straits in February 1804, Exeter sailed from Portsmouth on 25th April 1805 bound for China, a journey that is commemorated in this painting when she is seen in Chinese waters.
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