Pine, John

John Pine Armada Engraving Plates III and IV

John Pine Armada Engraving Plates III and IV. From The Tapestry Hangings of the House of Lords, Representing the Several Engagements between the English and Spanish Fleets in the Memorable year MDLXXXVIII.

DESCRIPTION: Stunning, beautifully engraved and deftly hand-colored intaglio engraving commemorating the defeat of the "Invincible Armada" of Spain by Britain in 1588 during the reign of Elizabeth I. This original antique copper-plate engraving was engraved and published by John Pine of London in 1739 in his folio volume titled "The Tapestry Hangings of the House of Lords, Representing the Several Engagements between the English and Spanish Fleets in the memorable year MDLXXXVIII".

Two inset charts depict the actions on July 29 and 30, 1588 when the English Fleet, set sail from Plymouth, England to meet the Spanish Armada in the English Channel. These inset charts show details of both fleets with the Spanish ships formed into a crescent-shaped formation that they felt would offer the best protection and favor their strategy of overpowering the English ships by boarding. The weather played an important role in the English victory, reinforced by drawings of a cherub puffing away.

Two attributes of Pine's 'Armada" engravings make them very special. First, the great detail, elaborate design and brilliant execution of the work has led these prints to be considered by many to be among the very finest engraved works of the 18th century. Second, the printing process used a triple-plate technique that is extremly rare, whereby each of the two inset charts (III and IV) were printed separately from the background in a beautiful blue ink, using an additional plate. The plate-marks of these two insets are clearly visible.

At bottom center reads: ""Published by John Pine, June 24, 1739 according to an Act of Parliament".

John Pine (1690-1756)

John Pine was an eminent English engraver and designer known for his precise and detailed renderings. Trained in line engraving, he specialized in book illustrations, maps, and heraldic designs, establishing his reputation through meticulous craftsmanship and a sharp eye for detail. His remarkable work for Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister, further solidified his fame and led to his appointment as Blue Mantle, a herald at the College of Arms (1).

Painting of engraver John Pine (1690-1756) by William Hogarth

John Pine (1690-1756)

Pine's magnum opus, "The Tapestry Hangings of the House of Lords, Representing the Several Engagements between the English and Spanish Fleets in the Memorable year MDLXXXVIII," is a splendid testament to his skill. Published between 1739 and 1741, it is a series of engravings replicating the famous Armada Tapestries which commemorated the English naval victory against the Spanish Armada in 1588. His work is highly regarded for its historical accuracy and aesthetic beauty, and it remains a touchstone in the realm of engraving.

(1) The title of "Blue Mantle" refers to a position in the College of Arms, the official heraldic authority in England. This title is given to a pursuivant, a junior officer of arms, who is still learning about heraldry before becoming a full herald.

The title "Blue Mantle" comes from the ceremonial dress worn by the person holding this position, which includes a blue tabard (a type of short coat) decorated with the royal arms. As a pursuivant, Blue Mantle would have been responsible for various duties including attending ceremonial events, researching and designing coats of arms, and other tasks related to the field of heraldry.

CREATOR: Pine, John



BODY OF WATER: English Channel

CONDITION: Very Good.  On heavy chain-laid paper. Wide margins. No condition issues. Strong impression and prominent platemark. A superb example.

COLORING: Beautiful, skillful hand-color.


SIZE: 24 " x 14 "


PRICE: $1250


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