Homeward bound. A good and large sailor's woolwork or 'woolie' of a three masted frigate, flying the flag and sailing on a slightly choppy sea, under bright skies and with a lighthouse and cliffs where the Union Jack is flying. Possibly the white cliffs of Dover. Another ship can be seen in the background.
This 'woolie' is in fact stitched in silk, on a linen ground, rarely found in works such as this. The stitching is closer than is usual in wool works, and the shine of the silk makes the colours radiate.
Of vibrant colour with little fading.
Notice the charming 'Eye of Providence' in the sky overlooking the ship.
It is not often one is able to trace the history of a ship, but as this work is named we have been able to do so. See below.
In a fabulous period rosewood frame, under glass.
British, mid 19th century.
Sight: 22.5" x 17.75” (57cm x 45cm)
Frame: 28” " x 23.25” (71cm x 59cm)
HMS Algiers was initially commissioned from Pembroke Dockyard on 3 October 1833 as a 110-gun first rate, to a design by Sir William Symonds. After several design changes she ended up as a 91-gun second rate ship of the line. In 1852 the Admiralty ordered that she be fitted with screw propulsion (for steam) whilst under construction. She sailed in 1854.
In May 1855 she took part in the capture of Kerch and Yenikale during the Crimean War. Later she saw service in Malta and was later still a depot ship for the gunboat flotilla at Portsmouth. She was present at the 1856 Fleet Review at Spithead.
She was sold for breaking up on 26 February 1870
The Eye of Providence (or the all-seeing eye of God) is a symbol, with its origin in Christian iconography, showing an eye often surrounded by rays of light or a glory and usually enclosed by a triangle. It represents the eye of God watching over humanity (the concept of divine providence).
See our article on woolworks for a little more background
Under glass hence reflections.
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