Brian Sanders (British, B. 1937) "Oyster Dredger" Original Watercolor on paper painting.
Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood First Day Cover for the Great Britain 14p Oyster Dredger stamp issue of September 23, 1981.
In England, the oyster has been a favorite delicacy since Roman times. At different points in history, man's taste for the small sea animal has brought it to the brink of extinction. For this reason, the oyster is today well protected from over-harvesting. In fact, it is raised in undersea farms where it can be carefully managed and harvested at just the right moment. Boats, like the Oyster Dredger depicted in this painting, are common in the oyster farms around East Anglia, a region of southeastern England famous for its oysters. This traditional craft bears dredging gear which is drag-towed along the seabed to collect the oysters. Instead of dredging gear, many contemporary oyster boats are rigged with suction pumps to pull their catch from its muddy habitat. But, on the Oyster Dredger, men continue to use the time-honored methods to haul their catch up from the ocean floor. When the heavy load is surfaced, it is dumped on deck to be taken back to port for cleaning and packaging for market. In Southeastern England, the oyster season usually begins in September and continues through April. Colchester, a city of this region and Britain's oldest recorded town, is world famous for its oysters. Each September, Colchester's mayor officially opens the season by sailing downstream from town to dredge oysters at the mouth of the river and then toast the Queen. The ceremony dates from 1256, an impressive testimony to the longevity of the oyster tradition in England.
Image Size: 12.25 x 14.25 in.
Overall Size: 16 x 22.25 in.
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