© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND
© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

'Tussac Grass, Falkland Islands'

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From the Collection


No. 4 in Fanshawe's Pacific album, 1849 - 52. Captioned by the artist below the image, as title, with the additional note that 'The brown hillocks are the decayed roots, earth &c of the growth of former years.' Fanshawe explained further in his journal; '..here on the numerous islets grows the "Tussack grass", which is the best food for cattle. It is a long, coarse grass, growing in large tufts from the tops of mounds of decayed vegetable matter, earth and fibres, which the plant itself has deposited and collected. These mounds are 3 or 4 feet high; some I noticed 6 feet' (Fanshawe [1904] p. 169). Fanshawe and his ship 'Daphne' were at the Falklands, 21 - 27 May 1849, en route for the Pacific from Montevideo, of which he also did a surviving wash drawing, during a stay of some weeks but appears to have omitted from this album as not of satisfactory standard. This is one of a group of three drawings of the Falklands. From an album of watercolours of Madeira, Brazil, the Falkland and Pacific Islands, Chile, Panama, Mexico, Vancouver, and California. It covers Fanshawe's commission in command of HMS 'Daphne' 1848-52, on the Pacific station based at Valparaiso, Chile, under Rear-Admiral Phipps Hornby in the 84-gun 'Asia'. The earliest dated drawing is of Madeira, 1 January 1849 on the way out, and the last of Cape Horn on the return, 28 May 1852. For further details, see collection online record.

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© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

From the Watercolour World


Falkland Islands