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ESTCOURT, James Bucknall (1802-1855)
[Fine Collection of Thirteen Attractive Ink and Watercolour Sketches of Gibraltar. Some Views Dated 1824 & 1825].
Gibraltar, 1824-5. Recently matted, the watercolours are in near fine condition. This fine collection of attractive watercolours and ink sketches includes: Top of the Rock. 19x26 cm (7 ½ x 10 ½ in); The Bay as seen from the Rock. 19x26 cm (7 ½ x 10 ½ in); O'Hara's Tower 1. 13x9,5 cm (5x4 in); O'Hara's Tower 2. 9,5x13 cm (4 x 5 ½ in); Castellar with Gibraltar in the Distance. 19,5x27,5 cm (7 ½ x 11 in); Ferry Across the River Guadacorte and Algeciras in the Distance. 16x23,5 cm (6 ½ x 9 ½ in); Gibraltar with the Moorish Castle. 21x32,5 cm (8 ½ x 13 in); British Soldiers in Gibraltar. 16,5x23,5 cm (6 ½ x 9 ½ in); Interior of St. Geoge's Hall Gibraltar (Artist in the Foreground). 18x26 cm (7 x 10 ½ in); South Part of Gibraltar from Ragged Staff. 19,5x26,5 cm (8 x 10 ½ in); Interior of the Officer's Guard Room at Ragged Staff, Gibraltar. 21,5x26,5 cm (8 ½ x 10 ½ in); Tangier Bay in the Distance. 15x26 cm (6 x 10 ½ in); View from O'Hara Tower. 21x20,5 cm (8 ½ x 8 in). Estcourt "purchased a commission as ensign in the 44th foot on 13 July 1820, exchanging on 7 June 1821 into the 43rd foot (Monmouthshire light infantry) before purchasing promotion to lieutenant (9 December 1824) and captain (5 November 1825). Estcourt served with the regiment, which formed part of Lieutenant-General Sir William Clinton's division sent to garrison towns in Portugal (1826-7) during disruption over the succession to the throne. He appears then to have returned with the 43rd to Gibraltar, before sailing for Plymouth and, in 1832, Ireland. From January 1835 until June 1837, he was second in command to Colonel F. R. Chesney during his expedition to the Euphrates valley, which sought to prove that the river was navigable from within overland reach of the Mediterranean to its mouth on the Persian Gulf, thus shortening the journey to India. Despite a torrid period, during which one steamer was wrecked and twenty lives lost at Basrah on 31 August 1836, Estcourt produced a detailed report for Chesney, anticipating 'no difficulties' in passage during the 'season of high water', provided that accurate knowledge of the deep channel and a vessel of suitable length were acquired. He was less sure about the 'low season', owing to lack of information, though he was confident that local Arabs would not be hostile, once they became used to the steamers" (Oxford DNB). This collection was obviously made from Estcourt first posting in Gibraltar.