the eleventh engraving after Monamy by Canot

puzzles and conundrums

P.Monamy Pinxt.       Publish'd according to Act of Parliamt. Feby. 21. 1745/6       Canot Sculpt.
Shipwrack                   Naufrage

the same plate as the one above, but issued by a different publisher, no date

P.Monamy Pinxt. Printed for Robt Sayer Map & Printseller at the Golden Buck in Fleet Street

Very shortly after Monamy's death Swaine brought out several prints under his own name. The first of these, Night & A Ship on Fire, is dated Aug 1, 1750. These prints are close repetitions of the Monamy compositions engraved by Canot, but in reverse, and with every detail slightly altered. Swaine's prints are engraved by Parr, but with no initial to indicate whether Remigius or Nathaniel Parr. The print below, dated 1st August 1751, appears to follow this pattern, but only up to a point, since the composition is not at all as closely related as, for instance the Night & A Ship on Fire prints, which are much more alike.

Swaine Delint         Shipwrack                 Naufrage         Parr Sculpt
Pu'd according to Act of Parliament August the 1st 1751
London Printed for R.Sayer facing Fetter Lane Fleet Street,

the same plate as the one above, but issued by Laurie & Whittle 1795

Now for the puzzle. The oil painting below appeared at Christie's, lot 59, on 25th November 1977, described as "A Shipwreck in a Stormy Sea, with other vessels in distress. 25 x 30." It was confidently attributed to "Peter Monamy", with the additional comment bears Brooking signature. It was paired with another painting, also bearing Brooking signature. We thus have a painting, very closely related to a print inscribed Swaine Delint, attributed to Monamy, signed Brooking. On the face of it, this looks like further possible evidence of the discreditable exploitation by Sayer, Swaine and Parr in 1751 of the unfortunate Brooking. Speculation. On the other hand, another possibility is that the oil is an early work, say 1742, by Brooking after a Monamy original, and that Swaine later drew it for engraving by Parr. Who can tell?

Christie's, 25/11/1977, lot 59; 25 x 30. Attribution to Peter Monamy, signed Brooking.

The Swaine "delineation", in reverse for comparison. Various differences are apparent.

The obvious major differences are the flags on the ships in the print
Side by side comparison also makes it look as if the left edge of the oil has been cut.

from Charles Brooking, 1723-1759, p.160, by David Joel, ACC 2000
A tempest with four ships running on to a lee shore. The same as the auctioned painting, above.

18 x 25½. Sotheby 6 June 1984, lot 133. Attributed to Cornelius van de Velde.
Surprised ?

25 x 29. Turnbull Sale, Christie, 26 May 1924. Alleged to be signed and dated 1760 (!?!)
Sold at auction, 29th Nov 2001
See here

selection of storms
line prints one: moonlight
line prints two: night and a ship on fire
line prints three: times of day
line prints four: moods of the sea
prints: introduction             mezzotints
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© Charles Harrison Wallace 2002, 2003, 2015
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