William Maw Egley (English, 1826–1916)

  • Sold

William Maw Egley (English, 1826–1916)

Tracing The Ship's Course

Oil on Canvas

  • Signed and dated '1898' lower left.  Signed again and inscribed with the title and the artist's address on its original label verso.
  • Provenance; Christie's South Kensington, 29th June 2011, Lot 120.  Sold for £4,000.00 GBP.  With Christie's labels verso.
  • Provenance; with Frost & Reed, London.  With gallery labels verso.
  • Similar listed to £20,315.00 GBP at auction.
  • There are 11 paintings by this artist in the British National Art Collection.
  • Painting - 75.6cm x 80cm
  • Frame - 90cm x 95cm 

Lot Notes

A superb example of the work of William Maw Egley depicting a man studying a globe in an interior with various shipping related paperwork around the desk and with the sea visible through the window on the left.  The painting has a wonderful provenance having been sold by Christie's in their Victorian & British Impressionist Art sale in 2011 for £4,000 - please see the photograph section for a screenshot of this auction result.  Prior to this the painting has also been with Frost & Reed, London and with its Frost & Reed labels verso.  Signed and dated '1898' lower left.  Signed again and inscribed with the title and the artist's address on its original label verso.


In very fine condition.  Professionally lined and conserved in the late 20th century.  Clean, most attractive, well framed and ready to hang. 

Artist Information

William Maw Egley was an English artist of the Victorian era. The son of the miniaturist William Egley, he studied under his father. His early works were illustrations of literary subjects typical of the period, such as Prospero and Miranda from The Tempest. These were similar to the work of The Clique. William Powell Frith, one of The Clique, hired Egley to add backgrounds to his own work. Egley soon developed a style influenced by Frith, including domestic and childhood subjects. Most of his paintings were humorous or "feelgood" genre scenes of urban and rural life, depicting such subjects as harvest festivals and contemporary fashions. His best-known painting, Omnibus Life in London (Tate Gallery), is a comic scene of people squashed together in the busy, cramped public transport of the era.  Egley always showed great interest in specifics of costume, to which he paid detailed attention, but his paintings were often criticised for their hard, clumsy style.  In the 1860s, Egley adopted the fashion for romanticised 18th-century subjects. Though he produced a very large number of reliably salable paintings, his work was never critically admired.