midshipmansberth
Antique Prints

Since 1763 the name 'Russborough' has been synonymous with collecting and dealing in fine art. In the closing decades of the last century the historic town of Port Hope has become home to Lord Russborough's Annex, which specialises in an individual mix of antique maps, paintings and prints.

While Lord Russborough's Annex features a great many works of museum calibre, we also offer a wonderful selection of prints priced at under $100.

An extract of our prints currently available:

A Naval Officer - Interior of a Midshipman's berth

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Int of Midshipman's birth

A Naval Officer
Interior of a Midshipman’s birth [sic]

SCARCE original hand-tinted aquatint, Published by T. McLean, London.1835.
9 ¼ x 16 ¼” (23.5 x 41.3cm.)   Frame:18 ¼ x 24 ½”

Ref. GH729140)/RLN/g.adns> VNN  PRICE CODE C

The image depicts the activities that take place in the midshipman's berth, this was the home of future naval officers. Here they would study seamanship, navigation and write their journals at the same time it was often the location of frivolity, mischief and pranks. The midshipmen are sitting around a table, some are playing cards or gambling  (although officially banned), most are drinking or suffering from the over effects of grog, several are sleeping, At the right a midshipman is dancing  (a hornpipe) while another plays the fiddle. and yet another is playing the flute. One seem to be about to set fire to his companion’s eyelashes with a lighted cigar, while another puts on warm clothing to begin his watch. An amused servant stands in the background watching the activities. Any offence against the ship’s laws,  articles and code of conduct would be punished. Navigating instruments, a speaking trumpet, hats, coats, swords, and dirks hang on the walls.

This scarce caricature was originally published by G. Humphrey, London Aug 12 1821 whilst this has the imprint of T.McLean 1835. It is illustrated on page 146 of Patrick O’ Brian’s Navy.  

This caricture is somewhat similar to the one by Marryat, engraved by Cruikshank and reproduced in Christopher Lloyd's Biography of Marryat.

See detail below

miodshipmans berth detail

Interior of a Midshipman’s birth - [sic]  Detail

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