Maritime painting set to fetch thousands
A 200-YEAR-OLD oil painting of Bristol by one of Bristol's greatest maritime artists, Nicholas Pocock, is set to fetch between £12,000 and £18,000 at an auction later this month.
The 17ins by 26ins picture, titled The Avon at Bristol with Clifton Wood seen from Sea Banks is not dated, but experts know it was done sometime before 1822, as Pocock died in 1821.
The painting – coming up for sale at Bonhams in Knightsbridge, London, on September 26 – is rich with detail. A Bonhams spokesman told the Post: "On the right, a ship is being built at Lime Kiln Dock. The terrace of houses above Hotwell Road obscures Thomas Goldney's garden buildings which are a prominent feature in Pocock's etchings.
"Today the ss Great Britain would be just beyond the shed above the 40 oarsmen."
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Bristol art expert Francis Greenacre said: "It is always especially exciting to see Pocock pictures that demonstrate so perfectly both his own experience as a mariner and ship's captain and the problems of getting a vessel into Bristol."
Nicholas Pocock was born at in Bristol on May 2, 1740,the eldest of six children of Bristol seaman, Nicholas Pocock senior, and wife, Mary (nee Innes).
He lived and worked at Prince Street and before he became an artist he worked for the Champion family, prominent Bristol merchants.
By 1766, he was in command of Richard Champion's ship, Lloyd, and he made six voyages in her to South Carolina.
According to Pocock's biographer, David Cordingly, he became "one of the great figures of English marine painting in the 18th Century.
"His work is of outstanding interest to maritime historians because, in addition to his skill as a painter, he had spent many years as a sea captain."
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography says of Pocock: "Six of his logbooks (from his voyages) have survived, each illustrated with charming pen and wash drawings of his ships, coastal profiles and harbours. Four of these are in the collections of the National Maritime Museum, London; one is in the Bristol Record Office and one is in the Mariners' Museum Newport News,Virginia,USA."
At Christie's in London earlier this year, on May 23, a new world auction record for a Pocock work was set when his 1782 oil painting of Admiral Rodney's flagship, HMS Formidable, sold for £145,250, nearly double the pre-sale estimates of £60,000 to £80,000.
Elsewhere, another view of the River Avon in Bristol is going up for sale.
A Great Western Railway poster, left, emblazoned with the words 'Bristol, an ideal centre for the west country' and featuring a painting by artist Warwick Goble of steam ships in the Avon Gorge with the Clifton Suspension Bridge in the background, is expected to sell for between £200 and £300 at Dreweatts in Bristol on September 11.
Although it is not dated, the poster was produced sometime between 1925 – when the Great Western Railway was founded – and 1943,the year Warwick Goble died.