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George III’s maps and views showing the war from North America to India

Henry Gilder (1743-1808)

Battle of Valcour Island, 1776 1776 or later

Pencil, pen, ink and watercolour on paper | 28.8 x 40.5 cm (image) | RCIN 734022

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A view of the Battle of Valcour Island, fought on 11 October 1776 between the British fleet, commanded by Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, (1724-1808) then Governor of the Province of Quebec, and the ships of the United States, commanded by General Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), resulting in a British victory. American War of Independence (1775-83)

A view looking north showing the battle taking place between Valcour Island and the mainland, with Grande Isle on the right. The Americans' small fleet was almost entirely destroyed. Henry Gilder, the artist of this view, had been a groom to the Duke of Cumberland, but his talent for drawing was encouraged by Paul Sandby and Gilder became a drawing master at the Royal Military Academy in about 1776. There is no evidence to suggest that he was present in North America at this time and so this drawing was probably worked up from the sketches and plans of others.

  • Henry Gilder (1743-1808) (artist) [bottom left, between edge of view and inner framing line:] H. Gilder.

  • Watermark: Fleur-de-lys in crowned shield, a ‘4’ with an upside down V suspending the letters VDL below

    Condition: no fold lines, small tear and repair to top left

  • 25.2 x 35.7 cm (neatline)

    28.8 x 40.5 cm (image)

    30.1 x 43.4 cm (sheet)

  • Manuscript title:

    No title

    Additional text:

    [bottom, below wash and ink framing lines, a key, a-i, k-n, to the geographical features and the names of the ships.

    Annotations:

    George III heading: Naval Engagement on Lake Champlain in Oct. 1776.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [top left, black pencil, erased:] XIV/22; [top left, black pencil, erased: the George III heading?].

    George III catalogue entry:

    Champlain, Lake A drawn View of the Engagement on Lake Champlain between His Majesty’s Ships under the command of Captain Thomas Pringle and the Rebel Fleet commanded by Benedict Arnold on the 11.th of Oct.r 1776: by H. Gilder. [The same entry appears under the heading Naval Engagement. A pencil note beside the entry in the George III catalogue reads: ‘This was mounted and loaned to the American Exhibition 1950-51.']

  • From the collection of military and naval maps and prints formed by George III (1738-1820)

  • Subject(s)

    Lake Champlain, New York, USA (44°37'08"N 73°25'00"W)

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