Courtesy of a private collector | Licence: All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of a private collector | Licence: All Rights Reserved

Ladrone Islands


30 November 1849



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From the Collection


"I boarded the Sarah Scott and for the first week we were becalmed but soon afterwards we were off the northern end of the New Hebrides. According to the chart and Horsburgh’s Directory (Scottish Hydrographer J) we should do well on our course. We passed Volcano Island – it was exactly the shape of a bell, spreading out at the base. I was down below, though not asleep when we passed it the second time. Next morning I was rather annoyed when the captain told me that flames had been seen on the summit, but that he did not tell me thinking that I must be asleep. But I would rather have lost a week’s sleep than miss seeing the volcano in action. A little father on, we made the island of Guam, the chief of the Ladrone Islands, which we passed at seven miles distance".
This is a page from a unique leather-bound volume of Robert Elwes’ travelogue 'A Sketcher's Tour Round the World', first published 1854, (see page 300 for corresponding passage).
The book contains the printed text of the manuscript but remarkably, the monochrome wash illustrations are hand painted by Elwes. The book bears a handwritten inscription ‘Mary F Elwes from her affect. husband Robert Elwes Jan 25 1878’, dated after Robert Elwes became ill at Congham, his Norfolk home. On 28th January 1878 , their youngest daughter Violet noted in her diary: “Papa much worse”. Less than three months later, Robert Elwes died on 17th April aged 58.

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Courtesy of a private collector

From the Watercolour World


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