Lot 68


Second battle of Algeciras, 12th July 1801
inscribed and initialled 'Capt Sir James Saumarez/Battle of Algeciras Bay TW' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
21 x 29cm

Anon sale, Christie's London, 18 June 1971, lot 40

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,500
Hammer price: £2,600
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.

Following their defeat at the first battle of Algeciras on 6th July 1801, the English squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir James de Saumarez (1757-1836) pursued the French squadron, along with six Spanish ships, as they set sail from the port of Algeciras at dusk on 12th July. First to engage was HMS 'Superb' under the command of Captain Richard Goodwin Keats (1757-1834). The present work shows the Spanish 'Real Carlos' on fire following numerous broadsides from the 'Superb'; in the chaos and darkness the 'Real Carlos' then opened fire on her compatriot ship, the 'San Hermenegildo', whose flag is just visible in the lower left of the composition. The fire spread rapidly resulting in both ships exploding with huge loss of life.

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