A rather splendid watercolour which would have been painted between April and June 1854. Private 3393 George Coombes belonged to the 50th (Queen's Own)Regiment of Foot and in 1854 they had been deployed to the Crimean War. The Regiment was briefly based in Turkey between April and June 1854 near to Galliopli whilst en route to the Crimean war. The 50th was billeted in Camp Chifleck and it is liklely that this is the Regimental camp depicted in the background. The newspaper to the backing board dates to 1855 (and is full of wonderful details from trips to India for auctions of horse and carriages) and the inscription to back reads "George Coombes and his L******* taken in Turkey 1854". The 50th fought in a number of a famous battles in the Crimea - at the Battle of Alma in September 1854, the Battle of Inkerman in November 1854 and in the Siege of Sevastopol in winter 1854. Coombes was very much in the thick of the it and was severly wounded in action in the days following the Battle of Inkerman, on the 2nd December 1854. It is very likely that this was a sweetheart piece, a painting sent home to a loved one as he was going to war. The fact that the portrait is named and we know what happened to Coombes, and that he saw extensive action in the Crimean war is a wondeful addition to this splendid portrait. Folk art at its very best indeed.
Watercolour with pencil on paper laid on buff card inscribed "No 3393 Private George Coombes N Company - 50th Regiment" in a birds eye maple veneer frame.
Measuring: (framed) 27 cm x 34 cm (10 5/8" x 13.4")
British, April - June 1854