Reverse glass oil painting of the SS Princess Alice, an ill fated Thames pleasure cruiser, c1878
Reverse glass oil painting of the SS Princess Alice, an ill fated Thames pleasure cruiser, c1878
Reverse glass oil painting of the SS Princess Alice, an ill fated Thames pleasure cruiser, c1878
Reverse glass oil painting of the SS Princess Alice, an ill fated Thames pleasure cruiser, c1878

Reverse glass oil painting of the SS Princess Alice, an ill fated Thames pleasure cruiser, c1878

A charming naive reverse glass oil painting of the SS Princess Alice of around 1878, a Thames river cruiser, and appears to have been copied from an image in the Illustrated London News, shown below.  The sinking of the Princess Alice caused a public uproar; see below for the not so pleasant story.

 

The artist obviously forgot that when he painted the words 'Princess Alice' on the back of the glass they would appear in reverse when viewed from the front. So charming!

 

Undamaged and of good colour and in it's original reeded oak frame and slip.

 

Sight:      23" x 14.5"  58cm x 37cm

Frame:    28" x 19.5"  71cm x 49cm

 

£325

 

 

Ref: 680

 

 

The Princess Alice Story

The Princess Alice was a steam paddle cruiser that carried passengers on a stopping service from Swan Pier, near London Bridge, downstream to Sheerness in Kent and back.

 

On the evening of the 3rd September 1878 she was involved in a collision with a collier on the Thames. Between 600 and 700 people died, all from the Princess Alice, the greatest loss of life of any British inland waterway shipping accident. No passenger list or headcount had been made, so the exact figure of those who died has never been known. 

 

But the worst is to come. 

 

The collision happened in the area of the Thames where 75 million imperial gallons (340,000 m3) of London's raw sewage had just been released!  The boat broke into three parts and sank quickly; her passengers drowned in the sewage polluted waters.  

 

In the aftermath of the sinking, changes were made to the release and treatment of sewage, and it was transported and released into the sea. I should think so. Not at all  the best solution, but an improvement for the time. 

 

Reverse glass oil painting of the SS Princess Alice, an ill fated Thames pleasure cruiser, c1878