William "Midshipman" Skinner is known today through the naval engravings and lithographs produced after his work. What the publishers did with his original drawings is unknown. This fine, original, signed watercolour is inscribed on the back as a portrait of Lestock Robert Reid, briefly Governor of Bombay under the East India Company. The little biographic material about Skinner indicates that around 1835 he was in the Gulf area of South Asia as was Reid, according to his Reid's own published memoir, "Indus".
It is penetrating depiction of Reid who would have been 36 years old at the time the likeness was "taken", it is a testament to Skinner's talent as a figure artist who is known today only through his engraved sea battles which are valued by collectors. The inscription on the back misspells "Reid" as "Reed". I've known people and not known how they spelled their names whereas I usually know how to spell the names of people I have read about. By this reasoning, I think it is likely the inscription was added by someone who knew Reid.
Rare and perhaps unique as an autograph work by this skilled maritime artist. P.O.A. (price on application).