(MP102). Frank Watson Wood (1862-1953). Watercolour signed and dated 1920.

The Hamoaze from Wearde Quay

Limited Edition worldwide: 25 copies

Standard size: 30 x 10.5 ins (76 x x 27cms) approx.

Price band: £160 -195

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Dated 1920, this tranquil scene by Frank Wood, shows what is, in most cases, the penultimate destination of some fine ships of war. Their duty done, most of these warhorses are now out to grass before the glow of the welders’ torch signifies their arrival at the breakers’ yard.
The most obvious exception is the large battleship over to the right of the painting who is a dreadnought of the Royal Sovereign Class REVENGE (for it is almost certainly her), awaiting the start of a refit in Devonport Dockyard after which she would go on to give over a further 25 years of service. Ahead of her lies a Basilisk class destroyer and continuing on the right of the painting, astern of REVENGE is possibly HMS ANENOME who was launched in 1915 as a minesweeper of the Acacia class. Astern of her lies a cruiser of the Lancaster/Cumberland class.

In the centre is a reciprocating paddle tug of the Dromedary class, the workhorses of the dockyards at home and abroad; and ahead of her is HMS VENGEANCE. Behind her is another running ship, a cruiser of the Cumberland class, possibly even CUMBERLAND herself who had been a cadet training ship before the war, a role to which she reverted in 1919 for some 3 years. Foreground left is a ‘trot’ of oldish destroyers, the ship in the foreground looking like a D class Thornycroft 30 knotter. And beyond her lies another Pelorus 3rd class cruiser almost certainly awaiting a tow to the breakers also.

Frank Wood was a prolific painter of the myriad ships that made up the world’s greatest battlefleet and even when the US Navy started to challenge and then assume the RN’s title in the years following the end of the Great War, he continued to paint the ships, the fleets and the events that caught his imagination right up until the late 1940’s. He was Artist in Attendance to HM King George and Queen Elizabeth on the maritime part of their tour of Canada and the USA in the summer of 1939. He died in 1953.