A large Chinese famille rose and grisaille bowl with the naval battle at Cartagena, Qianlong

This lot was sold on 2020-10-31 and is no longer available

Dia.: 38,5 cm - H.: 16 cm

Condition: (UV-checked)
- With a C-shaped rim section broken out and restuck, the break restored.
- Two small superficial chips on the upper rim.
- Otherwise in good condition, the sound of the bowl intact when tapped.

The two ships depicted are the HMS Monmouth, a 66-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, and the Foudroyant, an 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. As a result of this battle, the French ship was captured and later served in the Royal Navy as the Third Rate HMS Foudroyant.

It was quite a fascinating battle. After Monmouth's commander, Captain Arthur Gardiner, was severely wounded by a strike of grape shot on the forehead and taken below deck, the four ship's lieutenants (Robert Carkett, David Winzar, Stephen Hammick and Lt Campbell) continued the battle.

The battle was concluded after the arrival of HMS Swiftsure, who delivered the final volley. The captain of the Foudroyant, M. le Marquis de Quesne, after surrendering his ship to Lt Carkett on the Monmouth, preferred to hand his sword to Carkett, for whom he had the greatest admiration. The total losses on the Monmouth were 29 killed and 81 wounded. The dead, including Captain Gardiner, were buried at sea near Cape de Gata on the afternoon of Saturday 4 March. The ship was then taken to Gibraltar for repair.

In a small twist of fate, the Foudroyant was later to be commanded by Nelson - who was a cousin of Lt Hammick.
Monmouth was also present at Belle Île in 1761.

After a hundred years of service, she was finally broken up in 1767; a newspaper of the time gave her epitaph as: "There was no ship she ever chased that she did not overtake: there was no enemy she ever fought that she did not capture."