[BELLAIRS, Attributed to Walford Thomas (1794-1850)]
[Antigua] Original watercolour drawing, inscribed 'Birds eye view / of the English Harbour / & the Ridge Antigua / taken from /[Great Fort George] Monks Hill / Antigua / April 11th / 1850"
Antigua, West Indies: 1850 [watermark date 1847]. Watercolour on paper, inscribed lower left and lower right. Sheet size: 9 7/8 x 13 7/8 inches.
Excellent panoramic view from the Monks' Hill Fort looking south east down across Falmouth Harbour, English Harbor and out across the Caribbean.
According to William R. O'Byrne's A Naval Biographical Dictionary (London: 1849) Vol. 1, p.70, Bellairs joined the Navy in 1809 and made Lieutenant in 1819. From 1842 he served as Admiralty Agent on board a 'contract Mail steam-vessel'. He evidently travelled widely: the National Maritime Museum in London holds two of his West Indian drawings, the National Library of Australia a watercolour of a scene in Panama, and a collection of his drawings of the Far East were sold in 1982. As the present drawing shows he was clearly gifted, and more than a match for many of the professional artists working at the time. His 'professional' status received contemporary confirmation when his watercolour 'View of the town of St. Thomas, in the West Indies' was drawn on stone by W.L. Walton, lithographed and hand-coloured by Charles Hullmandel, and published as a separate print in 1843 (a copy of this print is held in the New York Pblic Library collection, and is described by Deak).
Cf. Deák 525; cf. Martyn Gregory Galley "Lieutenant Walford Thomas Bellairs R.N. ... Admiralty agent and ... artist in the Far East" (London: 1982); cf. Rex Nan Kivell Collection NK10620; cf. Stokes Foreign Views, P.1840-50-H11A.