8 original ink and watercolor vignettes surrounding a portrait of Captain Isaac Hull, all matted and framed together to 27 1/4 x 27 3/4 in. (some dampstaining and discoloration to illustrations and mat, unexamined out of the frame). Tricolor text in banner across top of display reads, "U.S. Frigate Constitution 1812," while banner at bottom reads, "Old Ironsides 1897." Scenes include: "The Constitution in close action with the Guerriere Aug 20 1812," "The Constitution chased by the British Squadron July 12," and "The Constitution taking the Cayne [sic] and Levant Feb 28 1815." Provenance: Milton Sprague Stearns Jr. (Deed of Gift affixed to frame verso).
During the War of 1812, the USS Constitution defeated four Royal Navy ships, even earning the nickname "Old Ironsides" in battle with the HMS Guerriere. In command of the ship during that battle was Isaac Hull, whose victory earned him a gold medal from Congress and $50,000 to share with his crew. The result of this first frigate battle of the war was a surprise to both sides, as The Times of London expressed: "Never before in the history of the world did a British frigate strike to an American."
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