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BRITISH WOOLIE OF FAMOUS WARSHIP HMS PRINCE REGENT 1852 WOOLWORK FOLK ART

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To see our current inventory of woolies and sailor made wool works, click here!

This Very Rare Woolie Has Been Sold. Thank You!
 
SAILOR MADE WOOLY OF ROYAL NAVY KNOWN FRIGATE
HMS PRINCE REGENT 1852
 
 

Picture size framed 17" x 13"                  Unframed 12" W x 9" H
Stitched on canvas                                   Dated 1852
 
Presented is a magnificently made woolie of a well documented British warship originally built in 1823 as a First Rate Ship of the Line with three decks and 120 guns. She was the second ship of this name. In 1844, her top deck was removed and her armament and crew reduced. In nautical terms, this process is called "razeed". She was further modified in 1861, to a screw type sailing vessel and all her guns were removed. By 1873, she went to the breakers.
 
The woolie shows her as she was in 1852, the date on the scroll. She was then Commanded by Captain Frederick Hutton, and was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Armar Lowry Corry, admiral of the Channel squadron. The word "Pience" is a misspelling of Prince as a result of seamen not being particularly well educated in those days. The drawing was done in the 1850's by a Royal Navy captain. Below in the "gallery" is a picture of a three deck, first rate, ship of the line which is what the Prince Regent looked like before she was razeed.
 
The stitching is the finest we have seen and intricately worked in different directs using different types of stitches to show the movement of the waves. The rigging is done in extensive detail   and an intimate knowledge of how sailing ships were designed.  
Woolies that have the ship's name and a date are extremely important and rare. This one is especially important because of the ship's history and elegant thread work.
 
PROVENANCE: Acquired from a private collection where it was for the preceding fifteen years, and before that reportedly "handed down in the family of the original owner for generations".

 
CONDITION: The woolie is worked in shades of blue, tan, black, cream, and red and all are faded with age adding to the pictures charm. All the yarn is intact, and the threads are taught with no slack. It is a very fine example with the original period wood frame. Because of its 155 years of age, please understand that fading is to be expected. There is a picture of the back in the "gallery" below.
 
Don't be confused by her RED ENSIGN which she is shown flying from the mizzen gaff. Today it is used by the British Merchant Navy, but not then. This flag was originally introduced in the early 17th Century for use aboard ships and land and was the flag flown during the time of the American Revolution. At sea, the Red Ensign was originally the principal ensign of the Royal Navy, and as such it was worn by ships of the Red Squadron, as well as by those warships that were not assigned to a squadron. The white and the blue ensign were used to designate the other two squadrons. In July 1864, the Admiralty  ordered that the White Ensign was the ensign of the Royal Naval Service. The Blue Ensign became the national colours of ships commanded by an officer of the Royal Naval Reserve, and with appropriate badges added as national colours for ships in government service of the Commonwealth countries. The Red Ensign was assigned to British merchantmen. This structure remains today.
 
All the pictures of the face of the woolie were taken though its glass. Consequently, there is some glare and distortion
            Detail of stern
                     Detail of hull
 
                         Detail of rigging
BRIEF HISTORY OF HMS PRINCE REGENT:
Date
Event
12 April 1823
Launched as 1st rate sailing ship at Chatham Dockyard.
(January 1840)
Out of commission at Portsmouth
April 1844
- September 1847
Main deck removed and reduced to 92 guns
7 December 1847
- 21 December 1849
Commanded by Captain William Fanshawe Martin, Channel squadron
21 December 1849
- 18 May 1852
Commanded by Commodore William Fanshawe Martin, Channel squadron
20 May 1852
- 3 March 1854
Commanded by Captain Frederick Hutton, flagship of Rear-Admiral Armar Lowry Corry, Channel squadron
3 March 1854
- 16 December 1854
Commanded (until paying off at Portsmouth) by Captain Henry Smith, in the Baltic during the Russian War
Career as unarmoured wooden screw vessel
Date
Event
27 May 1861
Completed as screw at Portsmouth Dockyard.
 
Never fitted for sea as screw
28 July 1873
Breaking up completed.
 
HISTORY of WOOLIES: British sailors crafting woolies were talented needle workers. The height of popularity of this form of folk-art was between 1840-1880. The sailors learned their craft through their daily routines of repairing the ship's sails and taking care of their uniforms. They made the most of their limited spare time and personal space by creating works of art that could be rolled up ,, and stored under their bunks when not being worked on. These sailors were knowledgeable about their ships and their surroundings and were skilled at drawing on canvas and then transforming a simple sketch into a vibrant, detailed, and interesting ship picture. Their accomplishments is magnified by being self taught and creating their works for the satisfaction they gave since there was no profit motive. The overwhelming majority of woolies are unsigned. A recent sale of such a woolwork brought $22,000.00 in Massachusetts and they regularly sell for in the twenty thousand dollars.

A SIMPLE CHECK LIST FOR BUYING WOOLIES

Condition is probably the most important consideration. Are the threads intact, are they stretched, water stained, moth eaten, etc. Expect to see some fading of color which is a good indication of age. The most highly sought after, and therefore the most valuable, are those that are identifiable as a specific vessel.

Color: Bright vibrant colors may be the sign of a recently made piece, but it also could be that of one that was stored away or out of the sunlight which would be a good thing.

Complexity of design: Woolies that have more than a simple profile of a ship are more valuable. Some have land in the background, the name of the vessel, various flags flying, crests or other embellishments that add value.

Design: Some sailors had a knack for composition and color sense which make the work visually appealing while others ended with an unattractive scene.

Size: The larger the size, the higher the value. Most woolies are about 16 x 24 inches.

Stitching: There are various stitches that sailors used many of which came from sail making, but others learned the art of embroidery so they combined complex stitches for detailing. This adds value. Long stitches take less time, and therefore closely spaced stitches add to the value.

If nothing else, remember HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE, CONDITION, COMPOSITION, COMPLEXITY enhance value

OUR UNCONDITIONAL GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. A prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Unfortunately, shipping charges are not included in this offer and are non-refundable unless due to our error.
 
International buyers welcome, but inquire first.  We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Nova Scotia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.
SHIPPING & PACKING: The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, will be calculated after the auction and is an additional charge. You may email us to get these costs. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.

ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT are Bank wire transfer, cashier's check, money order, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared. No checks from overseas buyers, no credit cards or PayPal accepted on this item.

An interesting wool work of a good size warship of the first quarter of the 19th Century in excellent condition.

 
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