660 Fifth Avenue, New York City, USA
1878 - 1882
From an album of drawings by Gabriel Bray. No. 17 of 74. A drawing of a sailmaker signed 'AVprGB' (to the life by Gabriel Bray). Men were issued with hammocks which bore a number indicating their place in the ship - quite literally since it was the space where the hammock would be slung and returned after airing (see PAJ1989) or being packed into the gunwale hammock nettings on deck where they were put in battle, as protecton from small-arms fire. The head of the capstan indicates this is an upper-deck scene. The drawing also shows the working dress of a sailmaker - who was a specific warrant officer - and (presumably) his mate. This is one of 73 drawings by Bray (plus one signed 'NF 1782') preserved in a 19th-century album. They have now been separately remounted. Bray (1750-1823), was second lieutenant of the 44-gun ‘Pallas’ under Captain the Hon. William Cornwallis (1744-1819) – later a well-known admiral - on two voyages (1774-77) to report on British interests in West Africa, including the slave trade. The dated drawings refer only to the first of these, from December 1774 to September 1775, though a few may be from the second. Others comprise country views, some of Deal, Kent (where Bray may have come from), and others of social-history interest.
Credit Line: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Purchased with the assistance of the Society for Nautical Research Macpherson Fund
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