A RARE collection of prints by one of Yorkshire most famous marine artists have been kept in public hands, with the help of the V&A.
The prints by John Ward (1798-1849) – considered Hull’s greatest artist – were offered to Hull’s Ferens art gallery by a private owner who wanted to give the city first refusal.
The only known bound complete copy of Ward’s British Navy”, it consists of a series of lithographic prints of the Navy around 1843.
The son of a master mariner from Hull, some of his best known works are Arctic scenes of which he had first hand knowledge from sailing with a whaling fleet.
Bonhams, which provided a valuation, said it was difficult to do so as it was “very rare” and “so unusual and there are no auction precedents”.
The collection is believed to have been acquired for £4,000 – with the cost shared between the Ferens Endowment Fund and the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.
Coun Terry Geraghty said: “We are honoured to have been given the opportunity to display this extraordinary work in our museum.
“I expect it will prove very popular with existing fans of John Ward and hopefully will attract some new followers too”.
The folio is going on temporary display in the Maritime Museum.