Album of shipboard scenes belonging to and possibly by the clergyman, antiquarian and amateur artist, Rev. Thomas Streatfeild (sic).
|Description||An album of 31 drawings and watercolours (PAI4290-PAI4320) formerly owned and possibly made by the renowned antiquarian of Kent and churchman the Rev. Thomas Streatfeild (1777-1848). The album is inscribed on the frontispiece by a later owner, and with a variant spelling: ‘Rev. T. Streatfield / 1777-1848 / Sketchbook of shipboard scenes’. Thomas Streatfeild (or Streatfield) spent many years compiling material and making drawings for a comprehensive history of Kent. He issued a lengthy prospectus for the project in 1836, Excerpta Cantiana, but died before any of the finished work was published. One volume, on the Hundred of Blackheath, appeared posthumously in 1886. His duties as a clergyman found him in the post of curate for Long Ditton and for Tatsfield, both in Surrey, and for a short time as chaplain to the Duke of Kent. The present album of pencil drawings and watercolours represents a departure from the sobriety of Streatfeild’s activities as a curate and antiquarian. It begins with a few pencil studies: a bridge, trees and animals, but is largely made up of a group of scenes aboard ship, presumably taken from life. The collected vignettes and caricatures offer a humorous glimpse of life on board ship, as passengers find their sea-legs and the crew carry out their duties. Curiously, none of the drawings include any suggestion of a port or coastline, or any other indication of where the ship was sailing from or to. However, it seems likely that the images record the voyage of a packet boat crossing the English Channel or North Sea. The album remained with Streatfeild’s descendants until purchased by the Museum in 1969. The British Museum have a larger book of watercolour sketches by Streatfeild, with topographical views of Scotland, France and Belgium, made in 1815-16.|
|Date made||c. 1820|