Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Reeve Holbein Great Harry

Richard Reeve [&] Robert Cruikshank after Hans Holbein.

This print from a drawing of the Great Harry in the possession of Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria by R. Cruikshank…

27 x 21 inches

At the time of her construction at the beginning of the C16th (1514 to be precise), the "Henry, Grace a Dieu" (or Great Harry as she was more commonly known) was reputed to be the largest warship in the whole world. Alongside The Mary Rose, she formed part of Henry VIII's naval fleet but actually saw little action out at sea. At 165 feet long and carrying a crew of over 700, she was considered too heavy and unwieldly to manoeuvre in battle so her role became more of a diplomatic one. Famously the Great Harry was used to transport Henry VIII across the channel in 1520 to attend the summit between England and France at The Field of the Cloth of Gold. This magnificent print shows the Great Harry after its remodelling in 1536 and, obviously, before it was destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1553. The eagle eyed will spot the king himself standing in characteristically confident stance upon the upper gun deck surrounded by his crew.

This is a very scarce depiction of an early warship in print and the dedication to Princess Victoria, later Queen Victoria, only adds to its importance.


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