It has not been possible to decipher the inscription at lower right, which presumably gives the name of this ship, and it is equally difficult to ascertain its nationality. While the ensign, marked with a cross, may indicate an English ship, other features suggest a vessel of Dutch manufacture; and the stern decoration, which would clarify the matter, is not visible. The ship appears to have 24 guns and the style of the beakhead suggests a date of 1650-70. The same inscription 'legt en drijft' appears in the same position on a drawing of the 'Princesse Louwijse', the flagship commanded by Witte de With at the Battle of Scheveningen in 1653 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv. RP-T-1895-3080B). The watermark, which is reproduced in The Willem van de Velde Drawings in the Boymans-van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, I, p. 144, no. 19, dates the paper to 1648-65.
We are very grateful to Michael Naxton, to Pieter van der Merwe of the National Maritime Museum and to Remmelt Daalder of the Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum for their assistance in preparing this catalogue note.