La Recouverance, Schooner
By Gordon Frickers 50 x 76 cms (20″ x 30″), oils on board, original sold, in the collection of M. & Mme J. Linquette of Brest.
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La Recouverance, the name, with typical French humour, is that of the ‘red light’ district of the port of Brest.
At the time of her launching, this fine painting was already on display as part of an invited exhibition in Brest of Gordon Frickers marine art.
This study showed how dashing La Recouverance would look when rigged and under sail.
Shown here sailing in Le Goulet de Brest (the entrance to the roads of Brest), this superb replica was built as the result of a bar room bet with a shipwright. He said he could build a schooner in six months.
La Recouverance was launched with great ceremony at the vast Maritime Festival Brest ’96.
Brest remains her home port.
Gordon Frickers photographed the launch of La Recouverance for Yachting World, a great day at a superb event.
Amusingly, her cannon were supplied by Martin Bibbings of the (English) Trafalgar Gun Company. Martian described his products as the ultimate executive toys…
Pirate, privateer, corsair, La Recouverance is a beautifully crafted accurate replica of a typical French commerce raider of the Napoleonic Wars. Ships like her, private war ships, “privateers”, carried a government’s “letter of marque” giving them a warrant to attack & capture enemy merchant ships for profit but not neutral ships thus she was a pirate with a ‘licence’ in the eyes of many.
The letter of marque was also sometimes called une lettre de course, hence ‘Corsair’.
Un corsaire est une personne (le plus souvent l’armateur, le capitaine ou le membre de l’équipage d’un navire civil armé) autorisée par une lettre de marque… de l’anglo-saxon « privateers ».
Later the term ‘corsair’ came to be more closely associated with North African Muslim pirates who had from the time Islam first over ran North Africa relentlessly attacked Christian vessels and raided Christian lands as far afield as south west England, for riches and slaves.
The fate of any Christian taken by ‘The Moors’ was a grim one.
America fought a brief war with the Moors however it was the British Royal Navy which eventually solved the problem of Moorish corsairs terminating with the bombardment of Algiers in 1820.
French privateers like La Recouverance kept the Royal Navy very busy while successfully captured some 10% of all British merchantmen.
Some of the privateers became very wealthy men.
As Gordon Frickers French friends put it, you won all the battles but we made the money!
It is a beautiful original and he is very happy to have sold this marine painting to good friends in Brest.
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Gordon Frickers © 17.07.2007 updated 26,03,16, 28.04.16
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