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Sailor's Letter Rebus, c. 1848, watercolor and ink on paper, depicting a message written and painted by a sailor on board the "U.S. Ship of War 'DALE'" dated "August 29th 1848," using pictures to represent words or parts of words, conveying the sailor's illness, his escaping death, his remaining four years of service, and of his hopes to get well soon, (toning, stains, tear u.c.), 24 x 19 1/4 in., in a period molded wood and gesso frame. Note: The USS Dale was a 566-ton sailing sloop-of-war. She was built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Between June 1846 and August 1849, she was deployed to the Pacific for her second tour, taking part in war operations off California and the Mexican west coast. Allover toning, stains around the edges, 1 1/2 in. tear at upper center, not laid down, frame lacking glass. The rebus partially deciphered: Dear Markland, I'm now reaping the fruit of my clownish conduct and shall (quit?) death. Fate descends me to plow the sea four years more in the service of the country by orders from Washington, I will be rated ?ers clerk, which is very acceptable. My quarters are more comfortable than a log? the Pencil vane ia , for a receiving ship. Credit(?) the devil for melancholy feelings, no change or relief can be had. But when a sail(?), awl hands?are happy I'm convelescent of my coffin? complaint and hope soon to be well. Barrel/Keg tolls/chimes ? have solid (dolly?) hope the boatsun (boatswain?) pipes our ? time?; so give my respects ?to a Read more…