A Cased Strip Panorama, An Aquatint

"Dedicated to His Most Gracious Majesty George IV" *

The Scenes Taken from Nature By Robert Havell Jr., Published London, 1823



Consisting of seven conjoined sheets unrolling to depict (from moving viewpoints)

the departure of George IV aboard the Royal George, on his 1822 state visit to Scotland,

from Greenwich down the Thames;

and an accompanying steamboat veering eastward through stormy waters to Calais;

housed in a lacquered-paper covered cylindrical treen case depicting Britannia,

her shield with a roundel portrait of George IV,

accompanied by Neptune holding a trident,

riding in a shell drawn by two horses with tails,

and being driven by a putto;

the paper watermarked J WHATMAN, 1821;

title panel illegibly inscribed in faded ink


3 Inches High x 18.25 Feet Long





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This strip panorama un-scrolls to follow the departure of George IV,

on his momentous State visit to Scotland, 23 August 1822

Below is an overall view.

Closeups of some of the individual scenes follow this overall image.





The strip panorama's continuous format allows, for the first time,

an imaginary expansion of viewpoints and subject matter.

The celebrative procession of vessels follows the Royal George

from the Greenwich dock down the Thames River to Sheerness,

at which point the Royal George veers northward to Scotland,

and Havell's steam boat, in which "we travel", continues along the southern coast.



Portrait of George IV (Sir David Wilkie, Dec. 1828)
wearing the Scottish kilt during the depicted trip to Edinburgh, 1822

(The Royal Collection Trust, Royal Household, London)


 * At this juncture, it is important to note the significance of George IV's state visit of to Scotland.

It was the first visit of a reigning monarch to Scotland in nearly two centuries.

Seizing the opportunity to win the affections of the Scots away from radical reform,

George was presented in a Royal Tartan complete with gold chains and weaponry.

This splendid production, wherein George was presented as a Jacobite king,

paid homage to the heritage of ancient Scotland.

The pride of the Scottish Clan identity was strengthened,

and the goodwill created has since united the Highlander and Lowlander.




(Ref. 5, King's Yacht)

Havell's journey begins by inviting the viewer to join the Royal Regatta at the King's departure for Scotland,

down the Thames to the English Channel.

As the Royal procession advances, we "see" the King on board the "Royal George",

as it is being towed by the "Comet" steam boat.



The Lord Mayor's barge is shown near Woolwich, towed by the "Sovereign" steam boat (Ref. 7).



Near Sheerness (Ref. 23) we note the royal yachts, the "Sovereign" and the "Regent"

with a frigate and two gun-brigs.

At Sheerness, "The Royal George" turns northward to Scotland,

and Havell, on the steam boat "Comet", veers eastward toward Calais



Along Havell's remaining coastal journey

Havell passes the Isle of Sheppy (Ref. 27), Whitstable (Ref. 31)...



...as well as Margate...and Broadstairs (Ref. 39).

Havell (on the steam boat "Comet", shown steering for Ramsgate Harbor) is joined by Sir William Curtis M.P. (also wearing a kilt) (Ref. 42)



The voyagers observe the wreck of an "India man", unusual in Northern waters (Ref. 53).



When crossing the Channel of Dover a violent storm erupts.

The wind is so fierce that (Ref. 60) it batters the main top mast of a passing frigate.

The steam boat in which Havell travels, however, reaches Calais (Ref. 62) (far left) in perfect safety.





For a full account of George IV Northern excursion see John Prebble,

"The King's Jaunt", (Edinburgh: Birlinn 2000),

with the Thames/ Channel section of the story described pp. 156-164.

Described are the King's overwhelmingly warm reactions to his subjects' celebrations,

both on the land and within the regatta.

He is described as not wanting to leave the deck, even after dark.



Condition : Several vertical tears : restored tear to title panel,

with paper oxidation to the first 12 inches of paper;

the wooden handle slightly separating from the paper at its base;

thereafter only a few minor rim edge nicks and short tears;

excellent color and detail retention;

the case with expected scuffing to the paper

An identical example is in the Collection of Yale Center for British Art,

Paul Mellon Collection, L490.




White Heron, Audubon Birds of America, Robert Havell jr engraved

Robert Havell, Jr. (1793 - 1878)


Robert Havell Jr. worked as an engraver in London prior to moving to the United States (1839).

Havell came at the invitation of John James Audubon, who became a close friend.

He was the principal engraver of John James Audubon's "Birds of America".

His aquatints, recognized as an important artistic achievement in their own right,

became one of the most significant natural history publication ever produced.

Above is Havell's familiar aquatint engraving of Audubon's "White Heron",

a precise and elegant glimpse into the natural world of the American wetland bird.

From 'Birds of America', John James Audubon, #386 'White Heron'.















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Costa Scena : A Cruise Along the Southern Coast of Kent, After Robt Havell Jr., Pub 1823