Rest of the World
Orders over A$300
ship free worldwide
Pair of rare c.18th engravings taken from the tapestry hangings depicting the defeat of the Spanish Armada that once hung in the House of Lords. The engravings are of considerable historical importance, since the original tapestries were destroyed by fire … Read Full Description
Rest of the World
Orders over A$300
ship free worldwide
Pair of rare c.18th engravings taken from the tapestry hangings depicting the defeat of the Spanish Armada that once hung in the House of Lords.
The engravings are of considerable historical importance, since the original tapestries were destroyed by fire in 1834. They were published and sold by John Pine, engraver of Old Bond Street near Piccadilly.
To commemorate the victory over the Spanish Armada, the tapestries had been commissioned in 1591 by Howard of Effingham, Lord High Admiral under Elizabeth I, who was in command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada. The designs for the tapestries were drawn by Hendrik Cornelisz Vroom (1562–1640) and woven in the Delft workshop of Francis Spierincx at a cost of £1582. For several years, Effingham displayed them in his London house, until debts forced him to sell them to James I for £1628. In 1650, the tapestries were hung in the House of Lords. The defeat of the Spanish Armada was one of the defining moments of Elizabeth I’s reign. The victory affirmed her supremacy at sea and the righteousness of her new Protestant religion. The Herculean nature of the victory is emphasised in Pine’s engravings, with the Spanish galleons appearing to dwarf the small English vessels. In 1834 the Houses of Parliament were largely destroyed by fire, and the loss of the tapestries and Pine’s engravings are now the only surviving pictorial record of them. The portrait medallions decorating the margins of Pine’s engravings include those of; Drake, Raleigh, Grenville and Frobisher who were involved in the famous battle.
The reasons for the Spanish invasion were the ongoing hostility between King Philip II of Spain and Queen Elizabeth I of England. Although related through Philip’s marriage to her elder sister Queen Mary I, whose death in 1558 ended his ability to style himself king of England. Philip never accepted Elizabeth’s right to reign, regarding her as a Protestant heretic and he backed plots to eject her in favour of the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots. With ongoing English attacks on his treasure ships on route from South America, and Elizabeth’s support of Dutch rebels in the Netherlands and her execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587, Philip despatched the Spanish Armada a year later to take England by force. Early in the new year, the Duke of Medina Sidonia completed preparations of the fleet at Lisbon, while the Duke of Parma readied his army from Brussels. Philip II’s plan was for Sidonia to lead the Armada up the Channel, then embark Parma’s troops and escort them aboard barges from Flanders to the shores of England. In parallel the troops would march and the ships sail on London, seizing control of both throne and government. A major pitfall, foreseen by Parma, was the improbability that Sidonia’s ships would safely dodge English and Dutch attackers in order meet his men.
The Armada was first seen off the south-west coast of England in late July 1588. Commanded by the Duke of Medina Sidonia, the Spanish fleet had over 130 ships and was 7 miles wide in formation. Large transport vessels were protected by heavily armed galleons carrying 7,000 sailors and 19,000 soldiers, together with horses and heavy siege guns, it was described as ‘invincible’. The Spanish planned to seize control of the English Channel, collecting the Duke of Parma’s 30,000 soldiers off Holland before sailing for England and marching on London. To prevent this, the English had to defeat the Spanish at sea. In command of England’s fleet, Lord Howard of Effingham pursued the Armada for two weeks, seeking every chance to attack and weaken this powerful fighting force. The fleets engaged off Plymouth and then the Isle of Portland. Although the English captured two Spanish ships, the Armada continued its progress. When it paused, the English fleet attacked again and forced the Spanish back into open sea and for want of a safe harbour, on to Calais. Desperate to stop the Armada collecting the Duke of Parma’s army, the English launched a fire-ship assault at midnight on 7th August. They set alight boats loaded with flammable materials, propelling them towards the Spanish fleet. In alarm and confusion, the Spanish cut their anchor cables, losing their close formation during the night. As the Spanish tried to regain their grouping off the port of Gravelines, English commanders launched an attack. It was the fiercest battle of the conflict, with five Spanish ships lost and many others damaged. In the aftermath, the Armada faced destruction on the uncharted Flanders sandbanks, while, out of shot range, the English shadowed them. A change in the wind blew the Spanish into deeper waters and forced them into the North Sea. Gales and the English pursuit as far as the Firth of Forth meant the Spanish had to sail around Scotland and the west of Ireland. Hard hit by Atlantic storms, many ships were wrecked and only 67 returned to Spain.
From: Pine, John. The Tapestry Hangings of the House of Lords: Representing the Several Engagements between the English and Spanish Fleets, in the Ever Memorable Year MDLXXXVIII London
John Pine (1690 - 1756)
Pine was an English engraver and cartographer notable who flourished during the British Enlightenment. He was a close friend of William Hogarth, who painted Pine several times; once, in his 1749 engraving The Gate of Calais, depicting him as a fat friar. Both men served as governors of the Foundling Hospital, and both were Freemasons, Pine was a member of the Lodge that met at the Horn Tavern in Westminster and joined with other Lodges to form the Grand Lodge in 1717. Pine engraved a numerous items for the Lodge. In 1731, Pine worked with James Oglethorpe and the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America on the first conceptual map of the colony, illustrating many of its design principles. In 1735, Pine successfully collaborated with Hogarth and George Vertue in obtaining passage of a law enacted by Parliament securing copyrights for artists. This law granted specifically to him copyright on some works not otherwise original enough to receive copyright under it. in 1739 he published his most famous work; The Tapestry Hangings of the House of Lords: representing the several engagements between the English and Spanish fleets. In 1743 Pine became Engraver of His Majesty's Signet and Seals.. In 1755 he was among those who attempted to form a royal academy for the arts, but he did not live to see it established. Pine collaborated with surveyor John Rocque on the first detailed map of London, published in 1746.
Exchange rates are only indicative. All orders will be processed in Australian dollars. The actual amount charged may vary depending on the exchange rate and conversion fees applied by your credit card issuer.
Join our exclusive mailing list for first access to new acquisitions and special offers.