Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Privateer in Art

Recently, I undertook work on a series of pieces showing the the construction, fitting out, and sailing of a privateer from the late 17th century. The ship itself is of Dutch design, fairly typical in fact for many Low Country vessels of the time. These are the final products. As our fictional vessel grew, so did the technique. I proceeded from pencil to pen to paint.

Concerning Blackbeard's Ship

Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard the Pirate.
Certainly looks like a pleasant enough fellow.
"Queen Anne's Revenge."
While many experts have spoken about the identification of the shipwreck found in Beaufort inlet, speaking for myself, I have lingering doubts. And they won't readilly go away.
First is the location of the wreck. It was found in what many scuba would be considered fairly shallow water, over twenty feet. That is actually plenty deep for a sailing ship of that size. Historically, Blackbeard is said to have run the Queen Anne's Revenge aground. In other words, this is simply too deep.
The easy response to this would be that perhaps the ship could have shifted into deeper water in time. But there are problems with this. If that had been the case, the wreck would have been scattered over time. What we have here are aritifacts that are fairly concentrated. This implies a ship that sank in deeper water, thus not matching the records.
While there is much in the wreck that seems to indicate that this is Edward Teach's flagship, the questions that are raised by these little problems seem to point to just two possibilities - 

  1. This is the Queen Anne's Revenge and the historical record is wrong.
  2. This is simply not the Queen Anne's Revenge.

I, for one, remain skeptical.