118
118

PROPERTY FROM A PRINCELY COLLECTION

William Sherlock
SHIPPING ON THE THAMES BELOW OLD LONDON BRIDGE
Estimate
4,0006,000
LOT SOLD. 5,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
118

PROPERTY FROM A PRINCELY COLLECTION

William Sherlock
SHIPPING ON THE THAMES BELOW OLD LONDON BRIDGE
Estimate
4,0006,000
LOT SOLD. 5,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Of Royal and Noble Descent

|
London

William Sherlock
BRITISH CIRCA 1780 - 1821
SHIPPING ON THE THAMES BELOW OLD LONDON BRIDGE
signed lower right on the prow of the dinghy: W.P. Sherlock
oil on canvas
57 x 86.6 cm.; 22 1/2  x 34 1/8  in.
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Provenance

With Lazard Brothers & Co. Ltd., London (according to an undated mount at the Witt Library);
With Thomas Agnew and Sons Ltd., London (according to a label on the reverse);
Anonymous sale, London, Bonhams, 13 September 2005, lot 194;
Where acquired by the present owner.

Catalogue Note

The picturesque Old London Bridge, immortalised in the well-known seventeenth century nursery rhyme, lasted for over six hundred years thanks to endless maintenance, repairs and structural improvements, the last of which were carried out in 1758-62 when the fragile houses which had stood upon it for centuries were finally demolished. By the end of the Napoleonic Wars however, the old bridge could no longer handle the volume of traffic required and, more importantly, its numerous small narrow arches were inhibiting lighters and the larger river craft from getting upstream.

After much public discussion a new bridge, slightly upstream from the original, was begun in 1823 and eventually opened by King William IV in 1831, at which point the much-loved former structure was finally demolished. In this classic view of the old bridge, the artist shows merchantmen tied up alongside the wharves on both banks of the river and also small boats below it, perhaps making ready to ‘shoot’ the treacherous current which swept through it. Above the scene, the ancient church of St. Magnus the Martyr stands guard at the bridge’s northern end whilst beyond that rises Sir Christopher Wren’s instantly recognisable ‘Monument’ to London’s Great Fire of 1666.

Of Royal and Noble Descent

|
London