18 September 2015 - Working Sail Collectors Set of 6 x 1st FDC
This is a set of 6 x 1st class stamps from the Bureau pack from machine C002, on Royal Mail first day cover with Stampex first day of issue Working Sail special postmark.
Over the centuries, the beauty of sailing ships inspired innumerable grand paintings, including enormous seascapes and complex battle scenes – but it is the work of folk artists who painted on a more humble scale, observing ships as they came into the port, that has captured for posterity many types of traditional merchant and fishing vessels in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
These artists, often collectively known as the ‘pierhead’ painters, would seek commissions among the owners and crew of a ship in port. They would sketch from life and produce portraits of the vessel before the ship sailed again, usually within days. The typical portrait was a broadside view of the vessel at sea or leaving harbour, with details added in the background to help identify the location
Falcon (Pilot boat) by JW Green, 1897
John William Green (1863–1951) was a keen amateur artist, working in pen and ink, watercolours and oils. He had a particular interest in painting and drawing vessels seen in Fleetwood.
Briar (Herring Drifter) by Alexander Harwood, 1907
Alexander Harwood (1873–1943) moved to Aberdeen in his twenties and worked as a fish porter for most of his life. He was a prolific amateur artist and painted hundreds of portraits of Aberdeen trawlers, working in watercolours, oils and gouache.
Harry (Humber Sloop) by Reuben Chappell, date unknown
Reuben Chappell (1870–1940) was born in Goole and from an early age showed a talent for drawing ships. He made his living by painting ships and selling his oils and watercolours to seamen, first in Goole and then in Cornwall, where he became well known locally.
Margaret (Fifie) by Henry Lawson, 1890
Henry Lawson (1872–1966) was a fisherman in Pittenweem who, as a teenager, earned extra money by painting boats. The Margaret was his father’s first boat and was used for line-fishing as well as drift-netting.
Stag (Grimsby Smack) attributed to George Race, date unknown
George Race (1872–1957) lived in Cleethorpes and specialised in painting portraits of trawlers arriving at the dock and would then sell his work to the seamen before their vessel left the port.
Nell Morgan (Smack) by G Ramsey, 1886
Not much is known about G Ramsey, except that he lived in Norfolk and presumed to have been among the local ‘pierhead’ painters. He actively painted sailing vessels between 1856 and 1889.