James E. Buttersworth 
American Schooner Yacht Off Dover
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American (1817-1894)

Oil on Board Circa 1850s
8 x 12 Inches 15 x19 Inches Framed
Signed LR: J.E. Buttersworth  
   

James E. Buttersworth 
 
American (1817-1894)
 
American Schooner Yacht Off Dover
⚈ Sold

Oil on Board Circa 1850s
8 x 12 Inches 15 x19 Inches Framed
Signed LR: J.E. Buttersworth  
   

The foremost artist of 19th Century yachts, James E. Buttersworth, sets a racing scene in the waters of his homeland featuring an important American schooner yacht. In racing trim with the national ensign and what is an exact match for the private signal of New York Yacht Club Commodore John Cox Stevens aloft, a blue and white Pilot Jack when flown on the bow, this work is from the period of Commodore Steven’s voyage to England with AMERICA, the most famous schooner of all. When AMERICA won a silver cup worth 100 British Guineas put up by the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1851, a “Hawk among the Pigeons”, the longest competed for trophy in world yacht racing and all sports in general was established.

Shown under sail with several other racing yachts under British and what is possibly a Swedish ensign following, the racing schooner is shown as Buttersworth likely himself saw in England, with her sleek black hull and stiff sheeted canvas. Commodore Stevens raced an entire season in English waters, and sold AMERICA for her consortium to Lord John de Blaquiere who became the schooner’s new owner in 1852, for $25,000.

Lord Blaquiere made some changes to her masts and rig, cruised the Mediterranean (including a bout against a typhoon) and returned to English waters to race. One such match was against a Swedish yacht, SVERIGE and others on Oct. 11, 1852. We speculate that is remotely possibly the inspiration for this scene, still shown under Commodore Stevens signal, and off the Dover Cliffs and Castle. The hull and rig, however, do not match up with any known information on AMERICA or another American Schooner from this period in English waters that we’ve been able to locate. We believe Buttersworth expertly painted this scene and possibly modified it for someone in his American market, still reveling and desiring a work to commemorate a similar likeness of the prior victory of AMERICA. A beautiful work with international flavor by the best painter of racing yachts, J.E. Buttersworth.


Provenance: Dupont Family, Delaware; Private Colorado Collection.