November 17, 2020 Early Arms & Militaria: Age of Exploration, Empire & Revolution
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/17/2020
Unknown artist, British School, late 18th century. “HM Frigate" Reunion versus French Frigate La Réunion 20 October 1793. Oil on canvas, 18" x 20", within carved and gilded frame. HMS Crescent was a 36-gun Flora-class frigate of the British Royal Navy. Launched in 1784 but not commissioned until 1791, she spent the first years of her service on blockade duty in the English Channel where she single-handedly captured the French frigate, La Reunion, one of the first British naval victories of the French Revolutionary War. On the morning of 20 October 1793, lookouts on board Crescent reported sails off Cape Barfleur, on the Cotentin Peninsula, heading towards Cherbourg. Her commander, Captain James Saumarez, ordered a course set to intercept. With the wind in his favor, Saumarez in Cresent soon came up on the port side of two vessels which proved to be the 38-gun French frigate La Réunion and a 14-gun cutter named Espérance, returning from a raiding cruise in the Channel. Esperance fled towards Cherbourg, leaving Réunion and Crescent to engage alone. Although the French ship was bigger (966 tons compared to 902) and carried a larger crew; the British ship had a slight advantage in weight of broadside, 315 to 310 pounds, and was marginally faster. After the opening broadsides exchanged side-by-side, Réunion lost her fore yard and mizzen topmast while Crescent lost the top off her foremast. Both ships had rigging cut and a number of sails damaged but Crescent was still able to maneuver across Réunion's stern and rake her, causing considerable damage to French ship and crew. Although Réunion continued to resist for some time, she was no longer able to move effectively. With Saumarez about to cross his bow and Circe now rapidly approaching due to a strengthening wind, Captain François A. Dénian realized he had no choice but to surrender his vessel. The engagement had lasted two hours and ten minutes. CONDITION: Cleaned and revarnished by a painting conservator six years ago, with only scattered spots of inpainting noted, mostly along edges of work. JLK

Item Dimensions: Frame: 23 - 1/4" X 29 - 1/2"
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,300.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $2,700.00
Estimate: $2,500 - $5,000
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
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