Fine and scarce series of nicely hand-coloured lithographs of the English and French fleets who were engaged in hostilities against Russia in the Baltic during the Crimean War.
In 1854, at the outbreak of the Crimean War, Sir Oswald Walters Brierly (1817–1894), marine painter and naval engineer, joined Captain Henry Keppel as artist–observer on the man-of-war HMS St John d’Acre in the allied Baltic fleet; Brierley had previously accompanied Keppel on board HMS Maeander in the Pacific. The aim of this particular campaign was to bring Sweden into the war on the side of the allies, and also to pressure Russia to sue for peace over Sebastopol. Retained by the Illustrated London News to sketch the actions (reproduced from 25 March 1854), Brierly was one of the earliest naval war artists commissioned by a newspaper.
In 1855 he accompanied Keppel, in HMS Rodney, to the Black Sea and Sea of Azov; during this voyage he was often under enemy fire, and was subsequently awarded the Baltic and Crimean medals. His work illustrates the transition from the steam frigates of 1837 to the great steam fleet of 1854.
First edition. Large folio (74.5 x 55.5 cm), lithograph calligraphic dedication, 1 leaf of descriptive text (no title-page issued with this work, title only to discarded wrappers),18 hand-coloured lithographs on 15 leaves by Dutton, Carrick, Needham, and Picken after Brierly, captions in English and French, modern red half calf gilt, morocco label to upper cover.
Abbey Life 329.
Stock ID: 88437