Bonhams will be looking for fair winds in July when the John Windeler Robertson collection goes under the hammer in New Bond Street.
A prominent collector of marine art who assembled his pictures
over a lifetime (his starting point was a gift from his mother), Mr
Robertson had spent his National Service in the Royal Navy and,
after his return to civilian life, competed for many years in the
Cowes to Torquay powerboat race.
The collection as a whole has been estimated up to £1.2m and,
being comprised of mainly British pictures, one of the highlights
on offer is an interesting historical painting by John
Cleveley the Elder (c.1712-77).
The picture shows the arrival of Charlotte of Mecklenburg in
England in September 1761. It depicts the Royal Yacht, Royal
Caroline, moored off Harwich, Essex. Aboard was the chosen
bride of George III, the 17-year-old princess who at the time spoke
no English and was to be married a few days later.
Works by the self-taught Cleveley, who was a ship's carpenter at
the Deptford Dockyard and, indeed, continued to work as a
shipwright well after he embarked on his second career as a marine
artist, rarely appear on the market. This one is estimated at
While auction prices of over £150,000 for Cleveley have not been
seen since the mid-1990s, the last major sum fetched in the
saleroom was for An English frigate under sail firing a
gun, which took a premium-inclusive £97,250 at Sotheby's in
The sale at Bonhams will be held on July 9.
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