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Cowell, John

Sketches of John & George from home / by John Cowell Junr., expressly for his brother dot.

Ware, Hertfordshire, June 25th, 1842.
Physical Description:
1 volume (17 leaves) : illustrations ; 34 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Archives & Manuscripts
John Cowell Junior is mentioned as a maltster in the Hertford Mercury and Reformer of 20th October 1849. His father John Cowell was also a maltster in Ware.
Bound in contemporary marbled wrappers, with brown paper back.
Album of maritime sketches by John Cowell, of Ware, Hertfordshire. The text refers both to the Courier (a French packet boat of 72 tons) and to various trips to sea in naval vessels, and it may be that this manuscript volume was compiled by a naval cadet for his family at home. The sketches (of moderate skill) are in pen and black ink, with blue or gray wash.
The title leaf is preceded by a frontispiece illustration of flags of England and France, with royal arms. It is followed by a leaf of verse: "Accept the scraps that I have done, Of us two jolly boys from home, Take not in judgment but in love, That you may of the same approve. For that which in the book is wrought, To all besides is nothing worth, And wou'd before the critics eye, Become in truth absurdity."
Subject Terms:
Boats and boating -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Cowell, George.
Cowell, John.
Harbors -- France -- Pictorial works.
Harbors -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Seafaring life -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Ships -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Steamboats -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Marine drawings.
Ink drawings.
Wash drawings.
IIIF Manifest:

  • [1] Drawing of the flags of England and France
  • [2] Title leaf
  • [3] Introductory verse
  • [4] Drawing of the stern of a British warship, titled "Strength at Sea"
  • [5] Drawing of a cliff face: "England's pride. George is climbing Shakspeare [sic] and John stays at his toe"
  • [6] Two drawings of the English and French coasts, with short verse
  • [7] Drawing of a two-masted sailing ship on a rocky sea, with verse "George and John without their cares, at sea with Folkstone hovellers"
  • [8] A set of four drawings, Morning, Noon, Afternoon, and Night, showing a masted and steam driven "mail packet" crossing the channel and "lying copper bare" in Calais harbor
  • [6] Drawing of the packet at sea, 23rd Sept. [18]41
  • [9] Drawing of a stormy harbor scene, laid in, "The Pilot's happiness"
  • [10] Drawing of "The Essex coast," depicting a harbor and pier, with verse below: "John and Emma's on the sea of life, Josiah is a shore - sure, that Betsy is the craft for him, And George's a jolly Tar"
  • [11] Manuscript text regarding the art of drawing
  • [12] Drawing of the bow of a paddle steamer, with figurehead, and boy leaning over the side, a flag with wording: "The John, Capt. George"; verse below: "Here you are, Brother Tar, Right a head, The steamer"
  • [13] Drawing of a boat in stormy seas
  • [14] Drawing of a naval training "brig" [?], with verse below about learning to sail a gale
  • [15] Drawing of a paddle steamer in a storm off a harbour, with caption: "We, going Out to Sea - Little George and Johnie"
  • [16] Drawing of a French paddle steamer, with caption: "French Boys/Bouys and Girls/Gulls at Sea"
  • [17] Manuscript text extolling the virtues of study.

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