[Original broadsheet plan of the Battle of Trafalgar]
Plan of the Attack by Lord Nelson, on the Combined Fleet, October 21st 1805. London: Robert Dodd, 1805. Coloured aquatint, 265 x 365mm, with letterpress text underneath, sheet size 660 x 440mm. Some wear, with loss of text, laid down.
A broadsheet antique print, showing the plan of the first moments of the Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805), the British fleet under Admiral Lord Nelson, splitting into two columns to break the crescent formation of the Franco-Spanish fleet. Robert Dodd (1748-1815), one of the leading marine painters of the day, published this broadsheet less than a month after the battle. Although the British fleet is shown will full rigging, the ships of the Combined Fleet are almost diagrammatic: immediately under the plate is a note from the artist explaining that for clarity's sake "the artist has judged it best (to avoid confusion that the smallness of scale would occasion), to dispense with exhibiting their Sails and Rigging, which if introduced, would in this View, have prevented their different Flags from being seen". The rest of the sheet is given over to letters written by Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, Nelson's second-in-command, to the Admiralty describing the battle and the loss of Nelson, and tables listing the ships of each fleet. National Maritime Museum: PAF4741.
[Ref: 12486] £2,500.00 ($3,775 • €2,925 rates)