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Constitution vs. Java

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This series of four prints depicts dramatic moments in the battle between USS Constitution and HMS Java on December 29, 1812. The hand-colored restrike prints were made in the 20th century from a set of plates originally drawn and etched by artist Nicholas Pocock (1740 – 1821) in 1814, and engraved by Robert and Daniel Havell. The artwork is based on sketches done by Lieutenant Buchanan, who was an officer from HMS Java. The works are “Dedicated by Permission to the Right Honourable The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.”

The engravings illustrate the British frigate’s demise. Plate 1: Java with the foremast falling; Plate 2: Java with just the lower section of the mainmast still standing; Plate 3: Java without masts; and Plate 4: Java ignited in flames as the British crew are taken aboard USS Constitution.

Nicholas Pocock [artist]; Robert and Daniel Havell [engraver]

Date Created
20th century

Paper, Ink, Paint

[H]22 1/2 in. [W]26 1/2 in.

Catalog Number

Credit Line
USS Constitution Museum Collection.

Terms of Use

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

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