HMS Pickle, first with news

One of ‘The Nelson and Trafalgar Collection’.

HMS Pickle
HMS Pickle, First With The News

#MarineArt by Gordon Frickers 76 x 121 cm (30″ x 48″), oils, #painting for Victory 2005 Ltd, while “Official Artist” for HMS Victory,  available, £25,000.

“HMS Pickle, first with news”, posted here by special permission of Victory 2005 Limited, this fine #MarineArt by Gordon Frickers “
A #painting  research with the full co-operation of the best authorities on this subject, while I was “Official Artist” for HMS Victory. 

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The Painting

Pickle is shown here beating to windward, her crew reducing sail, a dangerous task without a safety net.

I chose to include HMS Pickle in this series for several reasons; she distinguished herself many times in particular by carrying Admiral Collingwood’s famous Trafalgar Dispatch and she was the sort of size a modern yachtsman can relate to.

This fine painting is a present (28. Sept 2017) with an art agent in London having spent much of the past 20 years in a bank vault in London.

One of a ‘Trafalgar Collection’ an originally painting” researched with the full co-operation and assistance of the best authorities, to help raise funds for HMS Victory, this awesome study “HMS Pickle, First With News” is for sale, £25,000.

To date the collection has been exhibited only once, at the private viewing, ‘The Trafalgar Soiree’ at the exclusive Army and Navy Club, St James, Pall Mall, London in The Wellington Room.

The Trafalgar Soiree with Captain M. Nicholson and his son.

Captain Nicholson is the owner of the very active HMS Pickle replica.

The owners of this spirited painting, Victory 2005 Ltd, wish to sell the entire collection.
All the Trafalgar Collection are paintings made during or in the aftermath of  the period I, Gordon Frickers was honoured to be the only artist ever appointed as “Official Artist” to HMS Victory and working with Victory 2005 Limited.


At that time I painted “HMS Pickle, First With The News”, I wrote “I often include a mini portrait of the owner, crew or friends in a painting, occasionally a self portrait too. In the same mischievous spirit I might include a cat, dog, fish or other detail.

 An example is you can see my friends the famous Master Mariner Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on the fore deck, Peter Goodwin Keeper & Curator of HMS Victory and I am there too as is the commander Lieutenant John Richard Lapenotiere.

Maybe YOU will be in the next ‘crew’ painted???

We are being watched by LAPENOTIERE the Commander who is standing near the helm, and the boson standing in the eyes of the ship.


This was my second painting of HMS Pickle, the now celebratedI have urgent dispatches being the first painting

Both have been shown many times on the internet and appear in a number of books and other publications.

“I Have Urgent Dispatches” is available from this web site’s print galley as a signed numbered print from £157.00.

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Our HMS Pickle was second and by far the most famous Royal Navy vessel of 5 to carry that name

‘Pickle’ was one of the eyes of the fleet and referred to by Nelson as “ubiquitous“.

Nelson s Pickle (detail) 21.06.03


Your artist has sailed on a schooner many times so has a ‘hands on’ understanding.

I also extensively researched schooners and cutters of the period, not only British, French, American and Spanish, before starting to create my impressions of HMS Pickle.

That said, as you can see here,  I am interested in more qualities that ‘realism’ or ‘perfectionism’.

My aim is to show something of the human feeling, the ambience and atmosphere; what i don’t want is the sort of highly detailed painting one still often sees and which at art college were referred to as old fashioned chocolate box illustrations.

Nelson s Pickle (detail 2 ) b 21.06.03


A very humane vessel“, during the battle of Trafalgar HMS Pickle’s crew of 32 saved the lives of 160 French people.

When the replica HMS Pickle owned by Captain Mal Nicholson arrived by chance, in difficulties at L’Orient, Brittany, France,  her people were as Mal put it, “a bit anxious about calling in a French port with a ‘Nelson’ vessel”.

They were amazed by their French reception.

The news had spread ‘like lightening’, they were greeted by many of the 40,000 descendants of the people her illustrious predecessor, shown in my painting here, had saved during the battle of Trafalgar by rescuing at great risk,  crew from the burning French line of battle ship Achielle which later dramatically ended the Battle of Trafalgar with it’s massive explosion.


I have painted another 3 pictures of HMS Pickle.

As I write, a fourth which will include some new discoveries in it’s detail is in production [18.04.2020]

 For more see Useful facts + excellent stories about HMS Pickle, first with the news.


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Gordon Frickers © 03.05.1999, updated 28.04.2020

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