J. Edmunds 
BRITANNIA & VIGILANT Race Head-to-Head
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English (fl.1870s)

Oil on Canvas Dated 1895
20 x 30 Inches 26 ½ X 36 ½ Inches Framed
Signed LR: J. Edmunds  
   

J. Edmunds 
 
English (fl.1870s)
 
BRITANNIA & VIGILANT Race Head-to-Head
⚈ Sold

Oil on Canvas Dated 1895
20 x 30 Inches 26 ½ X 36 ½ Inches Framed
Signed LR: J. Edmunds  
   

A period yacht racing scene of two classic and storied J-Class competitors, it is as desirable in its artistic merit as it is in historic content. As an artist Edmunds is one we have noticed previously, but very little public information exists about him. His technical strength and ability are unquestionably professional, yet very few of his paintings have surfaced.

What the artist has captured here is the moment of truth for these epic racers, as BRITANNIA faces down the 1893 America’s Cup champion on the home course in the Solent, between Southampton and the Isle of Wight, which is the headland seen in the distance. More specifically, the racing yachts are preparing to round the East Lepe buoy. This would make the race the important summer Cowes Regatta. BRITANNIA has already beaten VIGILANT in their first two meetings, at the Muir Memorial Cup Challenge at the Mudhook Yacht Club, and at the Queen’s Cup with 100,000 spectators along the banks of the Clyde.

Purchased by Howard and George Gould from the New York consortium which had run her successfully in the defense of the America’s Cup, they hired a highly respected crew and set sail for Britain in June of 1894. In 17 races that season, VIGILANT won 6 in British waters, which would have been respectable if BRITANNIA had not won the other 10, and 36 of her 43 starts. VIGILANT carried 1,000 sq.ft. more sail, and had to give a slight time allowance to the British Royal Yacht, owned by the then-Prince of Wales, King Edward VII. Even with the crack Captain Hank Haff onboard and occasionally her designer Francis Herreshoff at the helm, VIGILANT’s greater straightaway speed wouldn’t apply in the tighter courses upon which BRITANNIA’s superior ... Read More