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Lord Hamilton by De Clerck

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The trading ketch Lord Hamilton shown near Flushing, with a local pilot at her stern. 

Painted by A. de Clerck (fl.1875-1910) using watercolour, gouache and ink on paper, with gum arabic highlights. 

Within a period bird's eye maple frame.

o.s:38.5 in x 29.5 in 

During the night of February 12 the ketch Lord Hamilton carrying cement from Hamburg to London was driven aground on the Goodwins. Next morning the lifeboat searched the wreck but found no one. In doing so it lost its anchor & chain. The lifeboat failed to spot 4 men wrapped in a sail and lashed to the mast, their waving was thought to be rigging & sail tatters blowing in the wind. On Friday 15th the motor boat Champion arrived on site to recover the anchor and saw 2 men lashed to the mast alive but weak after 60 hours. They recovered Walter Farnes of Gravesend the Master and a crewman named David Davis. Walter Medhurst and Alfred Deacon both of Newhaven had fallen from the mast on Wednesday morning and evening and drowned. A more full account of the demise of the Lord Hamilton can be found by following this link….


This painting can be dated to the early 1880s after De Clerk had left Liverpool and returned to Antwerp.

Aristidius Amatus Joannes De Clerck was born in Ostend on 24th September 1841 and spent many years working from Antwerp, the hometown of Rubens, Bruegel and Rembrandt. His work was readily commissioned by seafarers from New England, Canada, and Europe; he was especially valued by the Scandinavians who called him "The Rembrandt of Antwerp". He himself liked to be referred to as A. de Clerck. His career as a pierhead painter began when he was 30, before this he had been a sailor, both of steam and sail. He married Virginia Scheltiens in 1869 and the first of their five children, Virginia Maria, was born the following year. Their second child, Joannes Petrus was born in 1872, in Liverpool. It is unknown why the family had moved to Liverpool but it would have made a good alternative to Antwerp with a prodigeous volume of commerce exchanged with North America at this time. After six years in Liverpool the De Clercks returned to Antwerp where he spent the rest of his years.

Examples of his work are to be found in a large number of institutional collections, especially those of Scandinavia, but including the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Peabody Museum of Salem, MA, and the Royal Ontario Museum, 

Item Code: 5144

£ 5144

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