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The sitter was a great Indian shipbuilder and was one of the famous Lowjee family of Parsi shipbuilders active in Bombay from the early nineteenth century. He was the master-builder at Bombay Dockyard from 1792 to 1821, and was highly respected there and by the East India Company Court of Directors in London. He was also the first Parsi entrusted by the Admiralty with the building of a man-of-war in India. The seal was set on Jamsetjee Bomanjee's work when he laid down the 'Minden’, 74 guns, launched at Bombay in 1810. This was the first ship of the line to be built for the Royal Navy out of England. Like all the Bombay ships she was built of teak and very strong and durable. On her delivery to England their Lordships of the Admiralty sent Bomanjee a letter of appreciation and a piece of plate. He also built four more two-deckers for the Navy. The lower hull of one of these, the 74-gun 'Cornwallis' of 1813, survived in use as depot ship and floating jetty at Sheerness from the 1870s to 1957, when it was still so strong that it had to be broken up using explosives.
The painting is thought to be posthumous and based on an engraving made after a miniature by the artist Edward Nash.
oil on canvas
H 40.6 x W 35.6 cm