Oct 14, 2021 - Sale 2582

Sale 2582 - Lot 133

Price Realized: $ 25,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
Smith, Charles Hamilton (1776-1859)
Views in Northern Africa, a Collection of Watercolor Drawings.

Folio format wove paper sheets, many with J. Whatman Turkey Mill watermarks dated in the 1830s and 1840s; eighty-nine full-paged watercolor drawings depicting many different landscapes in North Africa, ancient Egyptian ruins and monuments, including pyramids, colossal statutes, and ruins in Carnac, Cairo, Thebes, and elsewhere; desert-, land-, and seascapes along the Barbary Coast, Straits of Gibraltar, Morocco, Tangier, Algeria, Alexandria; watercolors of the Nile, remains of the ancient Greek settlement at Cyrene in Libya, mosques, and many other sites; some military battle scenes; all titled, almost all signed or initialed by the artist, some with a named dedicatee; the finish of the individual drawings varies from watercolor-shaded pencil sketches to more vibrantly colored images; all sheets disbound, boxed and accompanied by the boards and spine of the original binding, half red morocco and textured cloth boards tooled with gilt "Honi soit qui mal y pense" emblem on front board, gilt spine lettered with title and artist's name (spine torn and damaged, boards rubbed, front joint cracked, sold as a group of loose drawings); sheets edges gilt; according to an old description clipped and pasted inside the front board, originally part of a two-volume set that contained more than 200 drawings, 15 3/4 x 12 3/4 in.

Lieutenant-Colonel Smith's military career, between 1787 and 1820, included service in the Napoleonic Wars. He was a prolific self-taught artist with wide-ranging interests that included military uniforms, national dress (he illustrated costume books), natural history, and images like the present set, documenting his prodigious travels.