One of the more memorable racing yachts of yore, GALATEA was a pedigreed English-built steel-hulled cutter from the design of American J. Beavor Webb. Royal Navy Lieutenant William Henn ordered the yacht in 1885, and had her built at home by J. Reid & Co. of Glasgow. Her cabin living quarters were opulent, and Lt. Henn's wife sailed aboard her as well when she crossed the Atlantic as the first woman included in a crew to compete for the America's Cup in 1886, losing a spirited match to New York Yacht Club's MAYFLOWER.
Fastnet Rock Lighthouse is to her stern trail at the horizon, close to other sailing ships, while GALATEA pulls away speedily, with her sails sharp and her sharp bow slicing a wake in her travel. Her deck is clear and the rolling ocean which would make for smooth sailing is one of the more peaceful depictions of the sea painted by Miller that we have observed. A tall masted sloop sails in toward the lighthouse on a run with the wind.
Henn earned great respect for his displays of sportsmanship in his match races on both side of the Atlantic, and the yacht won him two Queen's Jubilee Cups in 1887, with the assistance of Peggy, the family's pet monkey who lived onboard and would hoist and lower sails, to the delight of spectators and sailors alike.
Inscribed Verso: ‘From a sketch. "The Galatea." By Chas. K. Miller/Glasgow/1885.'
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