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Views of naval engagements and maps of battles

Robert Dodd (1748-1815)

Battle of Trafalgar, 1805

BATTLE of TRAFALGAR, REAR DIVISION published 1 Mar 1806

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; laid down on paper, the paper backing brought round the edges of the recto | 48.5 x 71.3 cm (image) | RCIN 735121.b

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A view of the early stages of the naval Battle of Trafalgar, fought on 21 October 1805 between the British and the French, resulting in a British victory. Napoleonic Wars (1803-15).

This view shows the rear ships of the British fleet, all flying the White Ensign (a red St George's Cross on a white field with the Union Flag in the upper canton; Nelson had been promoted to Vice-Admiral of the White on 23 April 1804), engaging with the French ships, seen here in the background.

This is the second of four views (Plates 1 and 2 are unnumbered in this set) by Dodd of the Battle of Trafalgar. The companion prints are at RCINs 735121.a,c,d. These appear to be the originals of the views described in Parker 175.a which refers to a reprint made in 1843 by J.W. Laird. Laird's views, which appear to be a restrike from the original copperplates, were apparently reprinted about 1960.

The upper-case letters in the title are engraved in outline, suggesting that this example may be a proof impression; this is confirmed by the word 'Proof', which is very faintly engraved, bottom right below the edge of the view. 

  • Robert Dodd (1748-1815) (artist) [bottom left, below edge of view:] Painted by R. Dodd; [bottom centre, below dedication:] Published by R Dodd 41 Charing Cross 6 Doors from the Admiralty 1 March 1806.

  • Watermark: On print?, cropped: SMITH [and] 180[?]

    Condition: no fold lines; small tear to right edge. Verso: induced discolouration

  • 45.1 x 71.3 cm (neatline)

    48.5 x 71.3 cm (image)

    51.7 x 76.1 cm (platemark)

    53.5 x 78.2 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    BATTLE of TRAFALGAR, REAR DIVISION. [bottom centre, below view]

    Dedication:

    [bottom, below title:] To my Country Men, These Prints descriptive of the ever memorable attack on the Combined Fleets of France and Spain by the British Fleet under the Command / of the Illustrious Lord Nelson, as a Monument and tribute of respect to his Memory, is with the greatest deference submitted, By their Obedt humble Servant / Rob,,t Dodd.

    Annotations:

    (Recto) [bottom left, black pencil:] 21; [top left, black pencil:] XV-121 b. (Verso) [bottom left, black pencil:] 175.a.(2); [centre, black pencil:] 21; [centre, black pencil, obscured by backing paper:] 21.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Naval Engagement Four views of the Battle of Trafalgar on the 21.st of Oct. 1805: by R. Dodd, 1806. [The same entry occurs under the heading Trafalgar.]

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

  • Subject(s)

    Cabo Trafalgar, Andalusia, Spain (36°10'51"N 06°02'01"W)

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