The cat of HMS 'Exeter'
|Description||Oil painting of a white cat with brown patches and green eyes. It is shown lying on a round wooden table partly covered by a Royal Naval white ensign. The 'Exeter', with HMS 'Ajax' and 'Achilles' was one of the cruisers of the British South America squadron which engaged the German pocket battleship 'Graf Spee' in the Battle of the River Plate on 13 December 1939. All its guns were put out of action, and 61 men killed and 23 wounded before 'Graf Spee' broke off, ran into neutral Montevideo for immediate repair and was subsequently scuttled in the Plate estuary. Very little is known of Georgina Shaw Baker (1860-1951) other than that she was a probably largely self-taught animal portraitist, mainly of dogs and cats. This is the Museum's only oil by her but it has a number of other pastel portraits that she did of Second World War ship mascot animals, including the cat Otto, from of the 'Bismarck'. A file photograph of her at work during the war, painting a bulldog held in the arms of a naval seaman, shows a severe-looking lady wearing rather old-fashioned dress and a toque (hat) in the style favoured by Queen Mary (wife of George V).|
|Date made||Mid 20th century|
|Artist/Maker||Baker, Georgina Shaw
|Credit||National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London|
|Materials||oil on board|
|Measurements||Painting: 430 mm x 535 mm; frame 500x618x35mm|
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