Completed Maritime Subjects 14 When was "HMS 'Looe' Approaching Looe Island, c.1740" painted?

CW_ELT_04
Topic: Execution date

We have a picture of HMS Looe approaching Looe Island c.1740, signed Roy Stringfellow. It would be interesting to know when this was painted. Also, the plaque beneath the painting says the ship was wrecked off Florida Quay, but the date is illegible.

The Looe Guildhall Collection, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

Alice Read,

The following changes have been made as a result of this discussion.

Title: HM 'Looe' Approaching Looe Island, c.1800
[Later edit: title kept as c.1740]

Description: HM frigate 'Looe', 44 guns, was built on private contract at Limehouse, London, was launched in December 1741 and entered service in early 1742. Early in the morning of 5 February 1744, while engaged in anti-Spanish operations in the Florida keys, she ran onto a reef off the island since then known as Looe Key. Before the crew escaped in boats and another vessel, they set 'Looe' on fire to avoid capture. This is a mid-to-late-twentieth century painting by an artist listed as working in Cornwall and is presumed to represent the ship just before she was wrecked.

Execution date: c.1955–1980

These changes will appear on the Your Paintings website by the end of November 2014. Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.

13 comments

The image of the painting on Your Paintings, which is a lot clearer, suggests that stylistically the painting is most likely second half of 20th century. A quick web search shows other marine and coastal subjects often in the South West by the same artist and of the same period. Some websites (e.g. invaluable.com) give a birth date for him of 1921, which would fit.

Alice Read,

Would you like me to add the birth date of c.1921 for this artist?

And to add an execution date of mid-20thC?

I can also add a painting description of:
HMS Looe was lost off the coast of Florida on 5th February 1744 after being launched in April 1742.

Artist: I suggest you use 1921 (not c. 1921), since the web refs are specific. If its wrong, someone will correct in due course.

Text: HM frigate 'Looe', 44 guns, was built on private contract at Limehouse, London, was launched in December 1741 and entered service in early 1742. Early in the morning of 5 February 1744, while engaged in anti-Spanish operations in the Florida keys, she ran onto a reef off the island since then known as Looe Key. Before the crew escaped in boats and another vessel, they set 'Looe' on fire to avoid capture. This is a mid-to-late-20th century painting by an artist listed as working in Cornwall and is presumed to represent the ship just before she was wrecked.

(Other points: 1. Does the collection wish to adjust the work's title as regards 'c.1740'?

2. 'HMS' is an abbreviation that only started being used regularly from about 1820, so best avoided before that: the usual form before was HM ship, frigate sloop etc. The representation of the 'Looe' here is also anachronistic : it's more a frigate of around 1800. However, since there wasn't one built for the Navy that late, I have to presume that the image is intended as the one lost in 1744.)

Al Brown,

It's unlikey to be Looe Key in Florida - the terrain of the islands shown is too hilly - but, then again, the artist may have imagined it. Oddly, it looks more like Looe Island in Cornwall.

That's a very good point, and also fits much better with the lugger shown on the right rather than the other shipping mentioned at the time of the wreck off Florida. Can the collection at Looe confirm that point of local topography - which fits with the existing title but could be made a bit clearer in a final description?

Sheila Honeywill,

The artist Roy Stringfellow was born in 1921 and died in 2008. I do not know the date of the painting, but would guess sometime between 1955 and 1980. If I can find out a more accurate date I will post it here. Roy was my uncle.

Bruce Trewin,

The subject appears to be an early 19th century 28 gun frigate. Earlier 18th c. vessels carried a lateen rig mizzen, while this one is clearly not.

Thanks for supplying the artist's dates (if day/ month and place etc, plus and any other brief biographical information available, that is always useful) The representation of the ship is also certainly 'early 19th century', not 18th with apparently 28 broadside guns, but there appears to be another six on the poop and there would be other forward and four chase guns (2 each bow and stern) so it would be classed a little bigger.

Alice Read,

Would the collection like me to amend the data to:

Title: HM 'Looe' Approaching Looe Island, c.1800

Description: HM frigate 'Looe', 44 guns, was built on private contract at Limehouse, London, was launched in December 1741 and entered service in early 1742. Early in the morning of 5 February 1744, while engaged in anti-Spanish operations in the Florida keys, she ran onto a reef off the island since then known as Looe Key. Before the crew escaped in boats and another vessel, they set 'Looe' on fire to avoid capture. This is a mid-to-late-twentieth century painting by an artist listed as working in Cornwall and is presumed to represent the ship just before she was wrecked.

Execution date: c.1955–1980

Alice Read,

The collection has replied through the Your Paintings inbox with the following:
"This change is acceptable.

Please can we now close this discussion?"