The Mars and the L'Hercule. April 21. 1798.A Transparent Print.
Sold & Published Feb.y 1, 1799 by Edw.d Orme, New Bond Street, London. Where may be had a great variety of Transparent Prints & every requisite for drawing them.
Mezzotint with etching, large margins. 205 x 210mm (8 x 8¼").
An unfinished transparency print of the famous duel between HMS Mars and the French ship L'Hercule, at dusk near the Pointe du Raz, Brittany. Although two ships were of equal strength, L'Hercule was newly commissioned and inexperienced; after an hour and a half of bloody fighting at close quarters she struck her flag, having lost over three hundred men, compared to the Mars 31 men killed (including Captain Alexander Hood) and 60 wounded. The year before Mars was prominent in the Spithead Mutiny. Transparency prints are usually finished with colour and varnish on the reverse so that when held up to the light the scene changes. Edward Orme invented the process c.1794, and Charles Turner engraved the first such plate; Turner's diary lists this plate as one of the transparency prints he engraved for Orme.
BM: 1997,1207.2, this example a later state with the addition of the R.M. Whitman: Turner 286.
[Ref: 32165] £260.00