by Austin Sprake:
Certain back labels list "Battleship", which covers all the ships. STG181 to 184a [st280 to st324 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.
Title woven below the bow. 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. MAJESTIC (above).
The title is woven below the bow. Two flags are to be seen at the foremast. The abbreviation "RD" appears in the left-hand bottom corner and relates to the registration number 384379 granted on 10 December 1901.
H.M.S. Majestic was completed in December 1895 and was sunk in 1915.
This subject is also recorded with the wording "Wishing you a happy Christmas and a Happy New Year".
This ship is the lead of the Majestic-class pre-dreadnought battleship. There were nine battleships in the class, and Stevens created a picture for each:
H.M.S. Prince George
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. Magnificent 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 H.M.S. Majestic whilst a Vice Admiral was on board, as there is one red spot 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, as in the image above, although usually it is simply printed on the card mount.