Lot 29
  • 29

Lloyd, William Whitelock.

40,000 - 60,000 GBP
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  • Sketches taken with 1st Battalion 24th Regt. in British Kaffaria. Natal. Zululand and on the voyage home.
  • ink, watercolour, paper
Album containing 100 watercolours and 24 pen and ink or pencil sketches (also one photograph) with captions in pencil (on the mount) and some in ink (on the image), drawn by a soldier on active service during the Anglo-Zulu War, highly accomplished, accurate and detailed illustrations of the conflict and its landscape including Rorke's Drift House in the weeks immediately after the battle there, views of troops movements during the Battle of Ulundi, the battlefield at Isandlhwana, the location where the Prince Imperial was killed, many landscape views of Zululand including a three-page panorama of the Valley of Ulundi and a two-page panorama of the 2nd Division Camp in Zululand, troops advancing through Zululand, laager, camps and settlements (such as Fort Napier, Maritzburg), studies of soldiers and Zulus, also other South African scenes and views of Madeira, Tenerife and other ports visited on the return voyage to England, all sketches mounted in the album, 109 pages, plus blanks, with 12 modern protective leaves interleaved, oblong folio (285 x 370mm), 1878-79, half black morocco, album leaves with nicks and tears professionally repaired, four stubs, tears to two album leaves where items have apparently been removed, rebacked

[with:] W.W. Lloyd. On Active Service. London: Chapman and Hall, 1890. first edition, covers worn; Pencillings. 1987; David Rattray. A Soldier-Artist in Zululand: William Whitelock Lloyd and the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. Rorke's Drift: Rattray Publications, 2007, number 7 of 20 presentation copies bound in full leather and signed by the author's widow, folding map, slip-case, with two loose plates ("Isandhlwana Rock from the Neck") numbers 33 and 34 of 50

Catalogue Note

A unique and highly important pictorial record of the Anglo-Zulu War. William Whitelocke Lloyd (1856-1897) was the only son of a wealthy Irish Ascendency family with their home at Strancally Castle, Co. Waterford. He went up to Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1874 (along with Oscar Wilde), but failed his preliminary examinations and joined the services instead: in 1878 he received a commission as Second Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot, then serving in Cape Colony. Lloyd arrived in Cape Town on HMS Balmoral in August 1878 at a time when the British relationship with the Zulus was in rapid decline. Towards the end of the year forces were moved towards the border of Natal via Durban and then Pietermaritzburg, which Lloyd's company reached on 11 January 1879, the day that Lord Chelmsford invaded Zululand. Lloyd's battalion formed part of the British force for the duration of the conflict.

Lloyd went to war with a sketchbook and box of watercolours stashed in his kit-bag. Although some of the sketches in the album pre-date the war, it is evident that the historic circumstances in which he found himself spurred his desire to record what he saw, and the album preserves details of every stage of the campaign from Lloyd's perspective. His battalion initially made their base at Helpmekaar, 10 miles from the Zulu frontier at Rorke's Drift. Lloyd was at Helpmekaar on the crucial days of 22-23 January, the dates of the defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana and defence of Rorke's Drift, and remained there for the next three and a half months. This was a nervous period when Natal was under threat of invasion from the Zulus but it must also have been a period of boredom and frustration. Many of the watercolours in the album date from Lloyd's time stationed in Helpmekaar, including studies of the nearby battlefield at Rorke's Drift, numerous sketches of the laager itself, and several exquisite and detailed views into Zululand itself.

Lloyd's battalion was part of the second invasion of Zululand in May 1879, travelling with Lord Chelmsford into the heart of Zulu territory. Lloyd drew each stage of their progress: the temporary cavalry camp at Dundee (Natal), the regiment crossing the Blood River into Zululand, troops advancing towards Ulundi, King Cetshwayo's capital, along the uPhokhwe [Upoko, or Ntinini] river, past the spot where the French Prince Imperial had been killed in an ambush days before, along Isepezi Hill, and through the Thorn Country. There are remarkable sketches of the Battle of Ulundi on 4 July (where 1500 Zulu tribesmen were killed) including of skirmishes that preceded the battle, the advance of the Zulu army, the burning of Ulundi, the retreat of the remaining Zulu forces under shell fire, and prisoners after the battle. Amongst Lloyd's  drawings done after the battle are several of the scene of the British defeat at Isandlwana, which he visited on 21 July, including the detritus remaining after the battle and studies of the dramatic hill that overlooks the site.

Lloyd seems to have been more interested in art than in soldiering and left the army in 1882. Even during his service at least three of his Zulu War sketches were used as the basis for engravings in the Illustrated London News and he later published a book of illustrations of army life, On Active Service (1890), which included South African scenes.  After leaving the army in 1882 Lloyd became official artist for the P. & O. shipping line, sketching and painting scenes on board steamers and ashore and three further publications followed. However, Lloyd's early death in 1897 meant that he never became more fully established as an illustrator.

In 2000 these watercolours were discovered by the historian David Rattray, who was immediately struck by their accuracy and set about researching Lloyd's pictorial legacy: "From the moment I laid eyes on the copies of Lloyd's paintings, I realised that his artwork was accurate to an extraordinary degree. The more famous landmarks were, of course, instantly recognizable, but I was fairly confident that we would find the locations of all his paintings. Our plan was to try and identify each and every scene Lloyd painted, to photograph accurately what he depicted." Rattray's subsequent book (a copy of which is included in the lot) was published just after Rattray himself was murdered at his farm in KwaZulu-Natal.