The arrival of HMS 'Pearl' and 'Sylvia' at Sakitsu Ura, Amakasu Island, Japan

No. 26 of 51 (PAJ2051 - PAJ2101): inscribed by the artist on the album page 'Sagitsu / W. coast of Japan. / (arrival of HMS Pearl & Sylvia) / 10/68'. This is a bay on the west side of Amakusa Shimo Sima (Amakusa Island) just off the Kyushu coast south of Nagasaki. It looks south, with Sakitsu itself on the western side, which is hard to reconcile with this sunset view showing fishermen in the foreground: the view may in fact be from inside the larger bay of Hayano Ura, east of Sakitzu itself, with the headland of Ogamuseno on the right. It is difficult to distinguish which ship is which despite their differences of size. 'Sylvia' was a 5-gun screw survey vessel of 695 tons, 150 HP, sent to do hydroghraphic survey work on the China Station under Brooker from 1866 to 1870 and then under subsequent commanders. Butt was appointed second lieutenant in October 1866, but became third when a more senior man, Swinton Holland, joined her from November 1869. He left her at Hong Kong in 1870. The 'Pearl' was a 21-gun screw corvette of 1469 tons, 400 HP, commissioned for the China Station under Captain John F. Ross from May 1866. They appear to have been operating together, 'Pearl' doubtless to ensure the safety of 'Sylvia', given this was a disturbed period in Japan: see also PAJ2071 for 'Pearl'. The 'Admiralty Catalogue of Charts and Plans etc', includes an 1868 record of 'Sagitsu-no-Ura' by Brooker, captain of 'Sylvia', who was an even better draughtsman than Butt, though the Museum has only one earlier watercolour by him (see PAF6072).

Object Details

ID: PAJ2076
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Butt, James Henry
Date made: Oct 1868
People: Butt, James Henry
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 123 x 174 mm
Parts: Album of topographical views, mainly on the coasts of Japan, China and Formosa (Taiwan) (Album)

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