A Stunning Collection of approx. 360 NAVAL DRAWINGS / PRINTS (Printers Proofs) and WATER COLOURS Lot 353 Dominic Winter : A Stunning Collection of approx. 360
NAVAL DRAWINGS / PRINTS (Printers Proofs) and WATER COLOURS
An impressive collection of what would appear to be Mitchell’s drawings for his own reference collection. Mitchell numbered his works consecutively and the identification numbers run to more than 3,500 works. This archive therefore records over 10% of his entire output. Many of the drawings would have been used for Brassey’s Naval Annual and similar works, and many show the printer’s markings and size mark-ups, while others would have been preparatory studies for the watercolours and oil paintings for which he is now best known. (approx. 360) £3000-5000
William Frederick Mitchell (Calshot, 1845–1914, Ryde, Isle of Wight) was a British artist commissioned to paint many naval and merchant ships.
Although his output spanned c1880 through to his death, this particular selection cover in the main 1890 – 1910, so interestingly cover sail/early steam and their subsequent full steam ‘steel’ ships replacements. In addition to the British Naval ships, there is an interesting selection of Brazilian, German (including Scharnhorst) and Japanese Battleships, that passed through Portsmouth at that time. Some drawings of D1 the first trial submarine may well be unique.
Mitchell's collected works were originally published in The Royal Navy in a series of illustrations. Many are in the National Maritime Museum Collection in Greenwich, England. Mitchell lived most of his life near Portsmouth and painted pictures of Royal Navy and merchant ships for their officers and owners. He also illustrated Brassey's Naval Annual. Mitchell's works are numbered and run to more than 3,500. His medium was principally watercolour but he painted some oils as well.
Mitchell wrote a short autobiography for the 1904 May/June issue of The Messenger, a magazine for deaf people, in which he describes how scarlet fever deprived him of his hearing but at home his father, an HM Coastguard stationed at Calshot Castle, taught him to speak. The autobiography relates his move to Ryde on the Isle of Wight, shortly after marriage to Miss Woodman in 1881. It also claims Queen Victoria, Edward, Prince of Wales, the German Emperor and the Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia among Mitchell's patrons.