Bum Boat, Barbados, late 19th cent.

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This record was last updated on 21 Aug 2012

Image Reference

Artist, Edwin Roper Loftus Stocqueler, n.d. Reproduced from the Ilaro Court Collection (residence of the Prime Minister of Barbados) by the Barbados Museum and Historical Society and issued as a greeting card (see also, Comments).

Oil painting, titled "Bum Boat in Carlisle Bay," shows boat being rowed by a man (on right) and woman; boat is loaded with fruits and vegetables, and a monkey is sitting on the gunnel. The bumboat, a term used in England for this kind of vessel, was employed to bring provisions and commodities for sale to larger ships in port or offshore. These boats were common in Barbados during the slave and post-emancipation periods. Edwin Stocqueler (also known as Edwin Siddon) was born in India in 1829 of British parents. He lived and painted in Australia from about 1850 to the early 1860s, was in South Africa from 1866 to 1870, and after 1872 he was based in Britain; he died in London in 1895. Although there is presently no direct evidence that he ever visited Barbados or the West Indies, the unusual subject of this painting probably indicates that he visited the area, perhaps during his residence in Britain. In any event, the painting , which is undated, clearly was made in post-emancipation times. The painting currently hangs in Ilaro Court and was bought at auction by the Prime Minister's office in the 1990s (Thanks to Peter Gill and Mimi Colligan for biographical information on Stocqueler; and to Alissandra Cummins for additional information; see also Design and Art Australia online)