Maritime Art

The Pool with barge and small boat, inscribed trial proof. Early 20th Century

By William Lionel Wyllie. Early 20th century.

This etching is part of a large collection of 123 Wyllie prints, mainly etchings, bought from the daughter of William Lionel Wyllie in 1985, the funds provided fully by the Society for Nautical Research. Wyllie was a Londoner and spent many years recording London maritime life. In all the museum holds over 7400 items by Wyllie, just seventeen of which are oil paintings.

This etching shows a number of vessels including cargo ships, Thames barges, steam tugs and several lighters in clusters. This area of the Thames was known as the ‘Upper Pool’ which runs from London Bridge to Cherry Garden Pier. It was the bustling hub of London as a maritime port, where all cargo had to be delivered for inspection by Customs Officers. This particular view looks west, towards St Paul’s cathedral.

A brief article on the Society’s purchase of the prints can be read in the Mariner’s Mirror

It is helpful to view this image alongside another view of the Upper Pool by Wyllie and several other views of London including ‘Old Waterloo Bridge’ and ‘The Northern Arch of Old London Bridge’.

An obituary was also published in the Mariner’s Mirror in 1931 on Wyllie’s death. He was then the Honorary Vice-President of the Society for Nautical Research. Wyllie had also been invited to be the inaugural Chairman of the Society when it was formed in 1910. He went on to become a leading figure in the foundation of the ‘Save the Victory‘ fund and served on the HMS Victory technical committee.




Maritime Art Archive

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