Robert Dodd. "...the Gallant Defense of Captn. Pearson in his Majesty's Ship SERAPIS, and the COUNTESS OF SCARBOROUGH Arm'd Ship Captn. Piercy, against Paul Jones's Squadron…”.
London: John Harris, 1 Decr. 1781. Engraving by J. Peltro. 12 x 17 1/2. Early hand color. Trimmed to platemarks with a small margin added at bottom. Stable. Very good appearance. Olds, item 76; E. Newbold Smith, item 16; Trumpy, Beverley Robinson Collection, item 198.
One of a number of British prints showing the battle between John Paul Jones' Bon Homme Richard and H.M.S. Serapis. The title does not name Jones' ship and calls attention to the fact that Jones led a squadron against the single British war ship. Subsequent historians have agreed that the strategic victory went to Captain Pearson because he prevented the Baltic fleet from being captured. Statistics on either side of the text show that Jones had twice as many ships and twice as many guns as his adversary. American historians counter that fact with the assertion that British shot and powder was a better quality than that had by the poorly funded Americans. This scene, based on Dodd's famous painting, shows the moment when the Alliance, captained by a jealous and half-mad Frenchman, poured a broadside into both ships when the Bon Homme Richard and Serapis were bound together. This print is a re-engraving of an earlier one by Lerpiniere & Fittler which is larger. B.F. Leizalt used the same image to produce a vue d'optique print of this event. A classic image of an important sea battle.