(Leiden 1633 – 1707 London)
Brown ink on paper, with small self-corrections in black ink by the artist, 18.7 x 30.4 cm
Signed with initials and dated lower right: W.V.V. f 1705
With collector’s stamp lower right: CR
Watermark: comp. nr. 1795 – 1676. Fly-leaves in SPEED’S Atlas. Old binding-Hodgeson
Provenance: European private collection
Literature: C f; M.S. Robinson, The English ship Brittania at sea in a moderate breeze with yachts saluting. Van de Velde. A catalogue of the paintings of the Elder and Younger Willem van de Velde. Vol. II pp. 948-951, London 1990.
The English first rate ship of the line the Britannia built in 1682. The armament of this class consisted of twenty-eight 78- pounders, twenty-six jl-pounders, twenty-eight 38- pounders, fourteen 9-poundcrs, and four 6-pounders, a total of 100 guns. Besides the great guns, there were for the small-arm men muskets with match and snaphaunces, musketoons, blunderbusses, pistols, pikes, halberts, hatchets, swords, and hangers.
The square sails were courses, topsails, and topgallant sails, with steering sails on the fore and mainmasts, spritsail and sprit topsail on the spritmast stepped on the bowsprit cap. Staysails and topmast staysails were in use, but jibs were not yet known.
Large on the middle right is the full-rigged three-decker Brittania, viewed from the starboard quarter, with the wind on the port quarter under heavy sail.
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