A view, heading a plan dated 1755 depicting His Majesty's Dockyard at Sheerness, with the Ordnance, Wharf etc.

curiosities and queries

? Knyff (1638-1681) ? Sailmaker (1633-1721) ? Monamy (1681-1749) ?
? Portchester ?

A. 42 x 69, attributed to Jacob Knyff, see Cockett, Early Sea Painters, 1995, p.43
Sotheby's July 1986, lot 11. Possibly the same painting sold by Sotheby's in 1979.
And, definitely, in 1978.

B. 41½ x 68¼. Attributed to Sailmaker. Ferens Art Gallery, Hull
This view, often repeated, has traditionally always been said to be of Sheerness
However, it is now said, see Wright, From Medieval to Regency, 2002, to be of Portchester
From the photograph the above version strongly suggests Jacob Knyff's authorship
Details from Hemmings, British Painters of the Coast & Sea, 1988, p.8, b/w reproduction

C. 13½ x 27½. Signed Sailmaker. On panel. Cockett, Early Sea Painters, p.17
To an ignoramus, the small vessel, centre right, appears to be sailing against the wind.

D. 12 x 15¾. Bears Monamy signature; lower right. The signature is very crude.
This is a photographic print on canvas backing.


Here is what must be another example of the same canvas-backed photograph, where the peculiar behaviour of the wind, blowing a flag one way and filling a sail another, can be seen even more clearly. Is this meant to be a joke? Not even a ten-year old with any knowledge of the sea, or river sailing, would ever paint a marine like this. Nor would either Monamy or Sailmaker. The flag flying over the fort in A, C, D, is almost as big as the fort itself.

Query: Who painted the original picture?

I am greatly indebted to:
Captain Mike F.Williamson of Ontario and Cumbria
for contacting me via email
and awakening my interest in the view shown in these pictures

G. Mirror inset, described as view of Sheerness, and said to be signed P.Monamy,
with no reason for doubt. It has also been said to be a view of Tilbury, which is clearly wrong.

H. One of a series of several port views reproduced in prints by Kyp after Sailmaker.

I. Attributed to Sailmaker: here the yacht is on the right, the square-sailed vessel sailing with the wind

Quote: Signatures don't mean much. M.S.Robinson.

A much later print of A View of Sheerness, by Parr after Francis Swaine. c 1760?




Vaguely topographical. The yacht recurs in paintings ascribed to Monamy.
See Francis Place.

Sotheby. Earliest known appearance of the painting at the top of this page.

jacob knyff       isaac sailmaker
portchester ?       more oddities
dover       medway & thames estuary
a painting factory
monamy website index
title page

mail here