Michel Jean Cazabon (1813-1888)
Port of Spain from Fort George
with indistinct inscription 'H.P.M. Aynsley Esq. / Basque "..."' on the stretcher
oil on canvas
18 x 24in. (45.7 x 60.9cm.)
A fine unrecorded view of Port of Spain by Cazabon, the provenance indicating it was painted before 1859. The vantage point at La Vigie to the north of St James and Port of Spain, overlooking the Gulf of Paria, was fortified by the British in 1804, Fort George constructed as an outlook to guard the approaches to Port of Spain during the Napoleonic Wars.

Murray-Aynsley was the great grandson of the 3rd Duke of Atholl, and cousin of Sir William Miles, a Tory MP and agriculturalist for whom he worked, managing Miles & Co's sugar plantation in Trinidad (when he would have acquired the present painting), before he sailed for the Antipodes. He arrived in New Zealand in 1858, and took up his position of Miles & Co's stock and station agency in Christchurch, a business which saw the firm diversify its colonial trade from the Caribbean to the Antipodes. He went on to co-found the New Zealand Shipping Company in 1873 and was MP for Lyttelton, 1875-79.
Hugh Percy Murray-Aynsley (1828 - 1917), Lyttelton, New Zealand.
Anon. sale, Cordy's, Auckland, New Zealand, 15 Oct. 2019, lot 759 ("artist unknown").
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