William John Huggins (1781-1845)
A Ship in Two Positions Off Dover 
oil on canvas
33 x 45 inches, inc. frame

William John Huggins, of whose parents nothing is known, reputedly began life as a sailor in the East India Company, but his only known
Want more images or videos?
Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 11

William John Huggins
A Beautiful and Large Marine - A Ship in Two Positions Off Dover

circa 1820

About

William John Huggins (1781-1845) A Ship in Two Positions Off Dover oil on canvas 33 x 45 inches, inc. frame William John Huggins, of whose parents nothing is known, reputedly began life as a sailor in the East India Company, but his only known voyage was from December 1812 to August 1814, to Bombay and China, when he was listed for wages as ‘ordinary seaman’ while serving as steward to Captain Thomas Buchanan on the company ship Perseverance. Unless the ‘ordinary’ rating reflects the circumstance of a man no longer fit to do an able seaman's duty, he may never have been one, although he clearly knew his subject. A painting of the frigate Phoenix (36 guns), under Captain W. H. Webley (later Webley-Parry), convoying seventeen ships including the Perseverance home from Madras in 1814, was reputed in the Webley-Parry family to have been his first picture, and they lent it to the Royal Naval Exhibition at Chelsea in 1891 (catalogue no. 566). By 1817, when Huggins first exhibited at the Royal Academy (at the British Institution from 1825), he had settled in London at 36 Leadenhall Street (no. 105 from 1823 or 1824), near East India House. Here he remained for the rest of his life, specializing in portraits of East India vessels for captains, owners, and others, and similar shipping and naval subjects, including in watercolours. He appears to have had some early help from Thomas Duncan (c.1779–1841), a ship decorator, print colourist, and art teacher whose son, Edward Duncan (1803–1882), a member of the Old Watercolour Society, subsequently collaborated with him as a lithographer. Edward reproduced about 150 of Huggins's works, acquired skill as a marine painter from him, and in 1834 married his eldest daughter, Berthia (1809–1884). Huggins and Duncan also occasionally painted pictures together, such as one of Indiamen in the China Sea, now in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, which is signed by both. Huggins's Eastern sketches provided authentic backgrounds to his work, although he is also likely to have used other people's. He was a competent ship portraitist with a distinctive smooth finish to his oils and rather silvery, muted colour, and his work provides an important record of the shipping of his time. On 20 September 1830, Huggins was appointed marine painter to William IV (the ‘sailor king’), who according to Redgrave ‘esteemed his work rather for its correctness than its art’ and commissioned three large paintings of the battle of Trafalgar from him. The first two were shown publicly at Exeter Hall in 1834, the third at the British Institution in 1837: all remain in the Royal Collection. His works still often appear in the market, fetching substantial prices from collectors, and there are twenty-six in the National Maritime Museum. This also holds drawings, watercolours, prints, and two ship portraits by James Miller Huggins (bap. 1807), who was his son and pupil; he exhibited at the Society of British Artists, 1826–30, once at the British Institution in 1842, and was still working in 1865. He and another son, John W. Huggins (bap. 1809), also etched a number of Huggins's shipping studies published between 1824 and 1833 (later gathered in bound form as ‘Huggins' Marine Sketches’, n.d.). Huggins died on 19 May 1845, aged sixty-four. A letter of 1951 in the National Maritime Museum, London, suggests family papers were carelessly destroyed. Huggins and his wife, Berthia (a name also spelt Berthier), had three other daughters, Elizabeth Mary (bap. 1813), Amelia, later Gibbs (bap. 1817), and Sarah Christiana (bap. 1821). His will, dated 1841 and proved on 12 August 1845, made them his beneficiaries, appointing the last two and his widow as executors, with directions to ‘sell by public auction all my sketches drawings and paintings’, but retaining his stock of engraved plates to reissue for joint benefit. Neither his daughter Berthia nor his sons are mentioned.

Details

  • Artist
    William John Huggins (1781 - 1845, British)
  • Creation Year
    circa 1820
  • Medium
  • Dimensions
    H 33 in. x W 45 in.H 83.82 cm x W 114.3 cm
  • Gallery Location
    London, GB
  • Reference Number
    LU67333818882
Buyer Protection Guaranteed
Our Promise To You: If you're not happy with the way an item arrived, we'll work with you and the seller to reach an optimal resolution. Read more

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity

    Some items may require special handling and packaging. Request a shipping quote to see what options are available to your destination.

  • Return Policy

    This item can be returned within 1 day of delivery.

    View details
  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Gold
1stdibs seller since 2017
Located in London, GB
More From This Seller
17th Century French Oil Painting Landscape with Classical Ruins
17th Century French Oil Painting Landscape with...
Pierre Patel the Elder
Mid-17th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings
Oil
Pierre PATEL (1605-1676, French) Landscape with Classical Ruins Second half of the 17th century oil on canvas signed (lower left) 23 x 32 inches unframed; 27 x 36 inches, inc. f...
Diana With Her Attendants in a Grotto
Diana With Her Attendants in a Grotto
Abraham van Cuylenborch
17th Century Old Masters Figurative Paintings
Oil
Abraham van CUYLENBROCH (1620-1658) Diana With Her Attendants in a Grotto 1651 signed oil on panel 12.2 in x 15.7 inches, inc. frame; 31 x 40 cm Provenance: Sale of Sotheby's Lo...
Elegant Figures alongside the River Wye
Elegant Figures alongside the River Wye
Attributed to William Marlow
Late 18th Century Old Masters Figurative Paintings
Oil
Attributed to William Marlow (English, 1740-1813) Elegant Figures alongside the River Wye 1790 131 x 152 cm, inc. frame This quiet bucolic scene shows figures enjoying their natural...
C.18th Oil painting: Neoclassical Scene of the Trojan War: Briseis & Achilles
C.18th Oil painting: Neoclassical Scene of the ...
James Thornhill
Early 18th Century Old Masters Figurative Paintings
Oil
James Thornhill (1674-1735) Oil on canvas 12 x 14 inches; 16 ½ x 18 ½ in. Inc. frame The subject matter and inclusion of herms on both sides shows the influence of Louis Laguerre (...
You May Also Like
Ezekiel in the Valley of Dry Bones
Ezekiel in the Valley of Dry Bones
Philip Burne-Jones
Late 19th Century Old Masters Figurative Paintings
Canvas, Oil
Provenance: Sale, Christie’s, London, March 3, 1922, lot 46 (with The Tower of Babel); James Nicoll Private Collection Sale, Sotheby’s, London, March 29, 1983, lot 157 Private...
Bathers in Landscape/Sunset- 17th Century, Landscapes by C van Poelenburgh
Bathers in Landscape/Sunset- 17th Century, Land...
Cornelis van Poelenburgh
Mid-17th Century Old Masters Figurative Paintings
Copper, Oil
Pair of oils on copper circa 1630. Framed dimensions are 10 inches high by 11 inches wide. A beautiful pair of copper panels depicting bathers in a landscape and a second view of a...
Moonlit Landscape - 17th Century Oil, River & Trees at Night by A Van Der Neer
Moonlit Landscape - 17th Century Oil, River & T...
Aert Van Der Neer
17th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings
Oil, Panel
A large breathtaking 17th century Old Master painting by Aart van der Neer. This oil on panel is an outstanding example of his work depicting moonlight over the water. Wonderful deta...
The Infant Christ and John The Baptist
The Infant Christ and John The Baptist
(Circle of) Jan Brueghel the Elder
Early 17th Century Old Masters Figurative Paintings
Copper, Oil
Oil on copper panel. This piece is not currently framed but a suitable frame can be sourced if required. Jan I Brueghel was the second son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, born a few mo...
The Holy Infants Embracing
The Holy Infants Embracing
School of Marco D'Oggiono
16th Century Old Masters Figurative Paintings
Canvas, Oil
Oil on canvas. Marco D'Oggiono was born at Oggiono near Milan. Of the details of his life, we know almost nothing — not even the date of his important series of frescoes painted fo...
Oil Painting Genre Scene 18th Century
Oil Painting Genre Scene 18th Century
Theodore Levigne
Late 19th Century Old Masters Figurative Paintings
Oil
LEVIGNE Théodore (1848-1912) Genre scene in 18th century : The Swing In The Park Oil on canvas signed low right Old original frame gilded with leaves Dim canvas : 72 X 100 cm (28,34...
The Fish Market, 17th Century Dutch Old Master oil painting
The Fish Market, 17th Century Dutch Old Master ...
Jan van Goyen (circle of)
Mid-17th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings
Canvas, Oil
The Fish Market circle of Jan van Goyen (Dutch, 1596-1656) 17th century oil painting on canvas, framed canvas: 20 x 31 inches framed: 26 x 36 inches provenance: private collection, E...
Enormous Classical Landscape, Hagar & The Angel
Enormous Classical Landscape, Hagar & The Angel
Claude Lorrain (circle of)
19th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings
Canvas, Oil
Hagar & The Angel Italian School, 19th century follower of Claude Lorrain (French 1600-1682) oil painting on canvas, framed framed size: 49 x 62 inches provenance: private collectio...

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries