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A vibrant depiction of three ships shown port-broadside: the Hibernia in the centre, flanked by the screw sloop Rattler (left) and Vanguard (right) in the distance. The Hibernia is shown in the act of reefing her topsails across all three masts, a complex task rendered in extraordinary detail with crew included. The same process is depicted on the other two ships. Hibernia’s topgallant sails have been furled. The sea is slightly choppy.There appear to be traces of underdrawing, e.g. top of Hibernia’s fore and mizen masts, areas with cloud. Discolouration around the edge of the image suggests prior window-mounting using acidic materials. Technique includes scraped highlights.2 inscriptions on verso, most certainly by the same hand: 1st in pen and ink: ‘A Sketch of H.M.S. Hibernia Bearg the Flag of Vice Adml Sir Wm Parker Bart, G.C.B., Comr in Chief Medn. Captain Peter Richards C.B. taking in her 1st Reef, an Evolution She usually performd [well down] under the Minute – the Vanguard & Rattler in the distance. Drawn by H.J. Julian: Actn Comr H.M.S. Resistance. Augt 1848.’; 2nd in pencil: ‘N.B. Should the Paper it’s mounted on not be agreable to your taste, simply cut it off square with drawing & mount it afresh on other H.J.J.’‘Humphrey John Julian entered the Navy, 8 April, 1824; passed his examination in 1831; and was made Lieutenant, 27 April, 1840, into the Wolverine 16, Capt. Robt. Tucker, attached to the force on the coast of Africa, where we soon afterwards find him employed in the boats at the destruction of a slave-factory at Corisco. He returned to England and was paid off in the summer of 1841; and has been since appointed – 1 Dec 1841, to the Minden 20, Capt. Michael Quin, fitting for the East Indies – 29 Aug, 1843, to the Cornwallis 72, flag-ship on that station of Sir Wm. Parker – and 1 March, 1845, as First, to the Hibernia 104, bearing the flag of the same officer in the Mediterranean, where he is now serving. Agents – Messrs. Chard.’ (W.R. O’Byrne, ‘A Naval Biographical Dictionary’, 1849, Vol. 1). Made Commander in 12 September, 1848.
Credit Line: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London