James Kochan Fine Art & Antiques

Specializing in American and British art, manuscripts, imprints, maritime and martial artifacts, 1700-1850


Relics from the Last Battle Fought by Old Ironsides

The British warships HMS Cyane and HMS Levant fought the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides")on 20 February 1815 in mid-Atlantic.  Following a heavy exchange of musket fire and broadsides, both Cyane and Levant surrendered; Levant was recaptured by the British after being abandoned by the Americans to secure their getaway from the pursuing British fleet. The war had actually finished a few days earlier with the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent by both sides, but the combatants were not aware that the War of 1812 had officially ended.    Pictured here is a rare lithograph proof of a watercolor by William A. K. Martin (1817-1867) that shows all three vessels in profile to scale and a swatch of red bunting taken from the ensign flown aboard HMS Cyane during the battle.

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