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MASON, George Nelson Pomeroy, Commander, Indian Navy (1828-1890)
[Six Original Watercolour Views of Bombay Harbour and the Konkan Coast].
. Six watercolours on watermarked laid paper. Four watercolours ca. 11 to 14 x36,5 cm (4 ½ to 5 ½ x 14 ¼ in), one watercolour ca. 17,5x 25 cm (6 ¾ x 10 in), and a large sepia watercolour ca. 25,5x36 cm (10 x 14 ¼ in). One watercolour captioned in ink, one captioned and dated in pencil; one - with additional watercolour sketch on verso. Recently matted. A very good collection. Six atmospheric watercolours of Bombay harbour and the surrounding Konkan coast, drawn by an officer of the Indian Navy George N.P. Mason. He served in the Bombay Presidency for over twenty years, starting as a midshipman in 1842 and retiring at the rank of Commander in the early 1860s. The "East India Register and Army List for 1854" reported of Mason as a midshipman on a steam packet vessel Feerooz (8 guns, launched in Bombay in 1846); and in 1858 he was already listed as a Lieutenant-Commander of a schooner Georgiana (launched 1855), tender to sloop Clive, Persian Gulf (Colburn's United Service Magazine for 1858, p. 802). The watercolours apparently created during Mason's service as a midshipman on Feerooz include four panoramic views and a large black sepia watercolour of Bombay harbour and the coast, with native sail boats at sea and distant mountainous shoreline in the background. There is also a colourful view of the Funnel Hill (Karnala Fort) - a 13th-century Indian coastal fortification, in possession of the British East India Company since 1818. Dated 23 April 1855, the watercolour was drawn at "3 p.m., after a very rainy morning". "For rounding the Prong and entering the harbour, a good mark in clean weather is the Funnel Hill, remarkable by a rock on it resembling a chimney, and is situated behind Caranja Island, about 18 miles eastward from Bombay Castle" (Bombay Harbour and the circumjacent land, with sailing directions// India Directory, or Directions for sailing to and from the East Indies... Vol. 1. London, 1826, p. 342).