Cobles in Art & Antiques

Celebrating the Northumbrian coble and Yorkshire cobble in popular culture

Bagshawe postcards

The artist John Joseph Richard Bagshawe ((1870-1909) died at the relatively young age of 39 and so produced a smaller body of work than many other members of the Staithes Group.

Indeed, it is rare to find his paintings on the open market and it is only at Whitby's Pannet Art Gallery that two or three of his watercolours can be seen on display.

However, one of the leading postcard publishers of his day, Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd, commissioned Bagshawe to paint a series (No 2761) of six fishing scenes which were published in 1907 in their top-of-the-range 'Oilette Connoisseur' range.

The series, titled Toilers of the Sea, was such a commercial success that a second series (No 2817) of six was published soon after; titled, logically, Toilers of the Sea Ser.II.

These two sets of 12 postcards in total, now represent the most accessible window into the artist's ouvre and show how talented he was at depicting boats at sea, especially cobles. 

Only one postcard image is missing from the two sets published here - so, if you've got it, please, please get in touch!

Find more information on these postcards in Bagshawe's biography 'Sea Painter' by Peter Frank.  For more examples of his work, go to the 'Paintings' and 'Coble folk' galleries 

First series (large)

'Early Dawn'

'To the Rescue'


'A Rough Landing'


'In the Teeth of the Gale'


'A Good Haul'

'In the Dawn'



 First series (small)


 Second series (small)

 Second series (large)

'The Pilot Boat'

'In Distress'


'St Valery Mackerel Boat'

'Hauling the Lines, French Smack'

'Cod - Lining'

There is one postcard image missing from the second series. Help!