Fine art, Oil paintings

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The cat of HMS 'Exeter'

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings
User collections Cute animals by BirgittaPeippo
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Scouse
VesselsExeter 1929

Object details:

Object ID BHC1531
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
  • The cat of HMS 'Exeter' (BHC1531)
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