A Charming Miniature ;Sailor''s Silkwork Picture of A Royal Navy Sloop Flanked by the Union Jack and the American Flag, Circa 1875. The sails worked in trapunto, each flag embelished with a tassel. Frame size 12 ½ x 14 inches. Reference: The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TZ, England Discussion of HMS Gannet, a sloop similar to the one illustrated in the silkwork. Early History - Sloops of the Victorian Navy By this time (1878) Britain''s naval supremacy was undisputed, with British sea power exercising far wider influence on world history than any other maritime empire. The Royal Navy''s unrivalled position, based on her superior number of ships, employment in the support of free trade and unassailable reputation achieved during the Napoleonic Wars, ensured that her capital ships commanded such respect from other nations, as to prevent the outbreak of a major war. This created a period of overall peace that was to last until the outbreak of the First World War and became known as Pax-Britannica. At the same time, however, many of the peoples of nations newly exposed to Western culture and values had begun to desire economic and political independence from colonial rule. This led to the need for increased policing activities within many of the colonies and an increased role for the Navy''s smaller ships, often operating in conjunction with parties of naval brigades and soldiers. HMS Gannet is therefore a classic example of the type of ship used to implement Great Britain''s ''gunboat diplomacy'' during the final 25 years of the nineteenth century. As fast if not faster than their sailing predecessors, sloops such as HMS Gannet maintained a capability as sea boats that ensured they could be kept at sea when larger ships had been forced to take refuge. In addition, her composite construction was ideal for her role allowing her to operate at sea for long periods and over long distances without the need for elaborate dockyard facilities to maintain her as her carpenter and crew could repair most minor damage while at sea. Indeed Gannet''s designer, Sir Nathaniel Barnaby, was so confident in her hull design that he ordered that when ships of her type returned from duties overseas, they were only to have obvious work done, and were not to be stripped down completely, as was the general practice at the time.
Art (paintings, prints, frames)