H.M.S. Magnificent

Reference Number:- Sprake Number:- Godden Number:-
st 304 STG183 31c

Image of small military ship resembling a gun boat
the image of this picture was kindly donated by Graham Parker, Great Britain

Woven on silk:-

{note there are two flags on the foremast,
the upper most one (St. George's flag)
has two dots nearest the flag pole.
See below for significance.}

Printed at bottom of card-mount:-


H.M.S. Magnificent.

cm deep by cm wide

cm high by cm wide

by Austin Sprake:
Certain back labels list "Battleship", which covers all the ships. STG181 to 184a [st280 to st328 on this site] are basically similar, depicting a late 19th-century, two-funnelled gunboat with red-coated marines and blue-coated sailors on the deck. The sea is bright blue, and the flags are red, white and blue.
H.M.S. Magnificent:
Title printed on mount. Two flags on foremast.

by Geoffrey Godden:
A series of silks depicts six named naval vessels (and at least one unnamed); and the general title "Battleships" is to be found on some early twentieth-century labels from 33+33 of late 1901 or early 1902. These battleship Stevengraphs are very rarely found today. They were perhaps mainly sold at the naval ports, where they would soon have become "dated" or old-fashioned. The different titles are listed below in alphabetical order.
H.M.S. Magnificent.
The title is here printed on the card mount. Two flags are flying on the foremast. This vessel was completed in December 1895.

Other comments:
The ship is identified as a Majestic-class pre-dreadnought battleship. There were nine battleships in the class, and Stevens created a picture for each:
H.M.S. Caesar
H.M.S. Hannibal
H.M.S. Illustrious
H.M.S. Jupiter
H.M.S. Magnificent
H.M.S. Majestic
H.M.S. Mars
H.M.S. Prince George
H.M.S. Victorious.

Following a very interesting exchange of e-mail, I now know the significance of the St. George's flag on the foremast of the ship above, and also as displayed on H.M.S. Majestic and H.M.S. Victorious.
Within the British Navy, the " Flag Officers " comprise the Rear Admiral (lowest rank Flag Officr), then the Vice Admiral, with Admiral as the highest Flag Officer. Each of these Officers has a personal flag, and when on board a ship, their personal flag is flown from the foremast.
So as to distinguish each Officer, the Admiral's flag is a plain St. George's cross (red cross on a white ground). The Vice Admiral has a St. George's flag with one red spot in the upper quadrant nearest the mast. The Rear Admiral's flag has two red spots, one in each quadrant nearest the mast.
As can be seen in the image above, Stevens has recorded HMS Magnificent whilst a Rear Admiral was on board, as there are two red spots on the St. George's flag.

All of the pictures are of very similar design, with H.M.S. Magnificent, H.M.S. Majestic and H.M.S. Victorious having two flags on the foremast, whilst all the others have only one flag.
Very occasionally the ship's name is woven on the silk, although usually it is simply printed on the card mount.

Image of same ship, with same title, but with only one flag on the foremast. It is not known if this was deliberate on the part of Stevens, to signify that the Rear Admiral was no longer on board, or simply an accidental inputting of a different silk in the card matt:-
Image of small military ship resembling a gun boat

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This page was created on 6 January 2018
this record originally deliberately had an image of the proper card matt but with the wrong ship. This has now been changed to record the correct ship, on 13 March 2019. Image of ship with one flag on foremast added 15 February 2020 © Peter Daws
Web site address: www.stevengraph-silks.com