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American Cast Brass Dolphin Binnacle

It is extremely rare to find a dolphin binnacle of this quality. Instruments of this level were only placed on a few of the finest yachts and sailing ships, thus not many were made and not all have survived over time. The base is in the form of three fine period style dolphins, tails up, supporting the upper part of the binnacle including the compass bowl, and removable upper brass cover and burners.


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Bosun's Whistles SOLD

Five Bosun's Whistles, all working, sold separately. If interested, please note the letter of the whistle(s) you would like to price in your email.

A. Solid Silver, Circa 1880 with Flower Motif

B. French Solid Silver, marked "Baudouin a-toulon", circa 1870, no silver marks.

C. English, Anchor and Crown Motif on both sides of barrel shaped end, with floral motif and flourishes, Electroplated Nickel Silver, circa 1900.

D. English, Electroplated Nickel Silver, decoration on both sides, leaves and flourishes, circa 1920.

E. English, Electroplated Nickel Silver, Anchor and Crown Motif on one side of barrel-shaped end. Both sides decorated with floral motif and flourishes. Circa 1900.

James E. Buttersworth
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The Start of the Great 1866 Transatlantic Yacht Race

A beautiful painting with historic importance, three schooner yachts line up before the Sandy Hook Lightship for the start of the world's first Transatlantic Yacht Race held in 1866. In his book, "J.E. Buttersworth, 19th Century Marine Painter", biographer Rudolph J. Schaefer has noted six views by the artist of this event. This is largest of the known works of this important benchmark in American yacht racing.

Identification of the racing schooners is assisted by the special colored flags worn by the yachts. Foremost in the painting, wearing the Blue was HENRIETTA, owned by renowned newspaper publisher and infamous yachtsman James Gordon Bennett, Jr. White was atop the mast of VESTA, owned by tobacco baron and racehorse aficionado Pierre Lorillard, who initiated the competition with a dinner party boast over turtle soup that his 105-foot schooner was the fastest yacht afloat. The Red flag identified prominent New York Yacht Club members George and Franklin Osgood's famous FLEETWING. A wager of $30,000 each was put up the yacht owners for the head-to-head-to-head match race across the Atlantic Ocean. Bennett's HENRIETTA was the first to the finish off the Isle of Wight with a time of 13 days, 21 hours and 45 minutes winning the then-unrivaled and unheard of purse for any race of $90,000 or $1.3M in today's dollars.

Buttersworth's attention to minute detail shows the racing crews lining the windward rail on all three yachts with all sails set on a broad reach, using organized discipline to pull hard at the rope lines. The elongated bows and colorful treatment of sea and sky make this an excellent work of Buttersworth’s favorite subject matter and superior style. Since the winner HENRIETTA is so prominently featured, one must assume that Buttersworth painted this after the results were known, possibly for Bennett himself.



 
William A. Coulter
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John Barneson's WESTWARD Off Point Cavallo San Francisco

This impressive yacht portrait is of Captain John Barneson’s personal yacht WESTWARD, designed by William Garden, and built at the W.F. Stone yard at Oakland in 1915. The sleek cutter is depicted on San Francisco Bay off Point Cavallo. In the background, Mount Tamalpais rises majestically above Richardson Bay and the township of Sausalito just off the tip of WESTWARD’s bow.

Captain John Barneson was one of the most important figures in commerce and development on the Pacific Coast of California. In his memoirs, President Herbert Hoover described Barneson as “one of the choice souls of American life”. As a young man Barneson went to sea before the mast, earning his Master’s license in 1883 then rising to command numerous vessels. He went on to own several famous ships, including the McKay clipper GLORY OF THE SEAS and the early sailing tanker FALLS OF CLYDE. He retired from the sea in 1890, and became a prominent pioneer in the development of fuel oil propulsion for steamships. He was responsible for the first oil pipeline in the State of California and was Founder of General Petroleum which he later sold to Standard Oil. John Barneson was one of the most popular social and business figures in the early 1900s and is credited with helping transform the economy of California.

This painting was commissioned by Barneson’s board of directors and presented to him upon the occasion of his formal retirement in 1928. It has recently been acquired directly from the Barneson family. William A. Coulter is considered the dean of West Coast Maritime painting. Of the handful of maritime specialists working on America’s West Coast in the late 19th century, Coulter was by far the most dedicated and accomplished. He is known to have been commissioned to paint several of John Barneson’s vessels.

The painting bears a 14k gold plaque with the inscription: JOHN BARNESON- In appreciation of his admirable leadership, the employees of the General Petroleum Corporation, present this token of love and esteem.

Montague Dawson
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Ship J.N. Cushing of Newburyport

This fine example of Dawson’s ship portraiture features American merchant ship J.N. CUSHING, sailing in a lively sea and set against an illuminated sunset sky.

John Newmarch Cushing (1779-1849) was a captain and ship owner well known in Newburyport, Massachusetts. As his family grew he expanded his interests in town purchasing a wharf and opening a ship rigging business to serve the town’s five shipyards. Eventually joined by his sons, the Cushings owned thirty merchant ships and managed a busy mercantile business in addition to the rigging wharf. After J.N. Cushing’s death in 1849, the sons commissioned a 650 ton ship from John Currier Jr., which would launch in 1853 and would be named in their father’s honor.

The J.N. CUSHING was known to have sailed from 1853 through 1867, though there are mentions of the ship still being at sea in 1886. The family’s shipping business was global but they were particularly known for importing from China and India including fine fabrics and porcelains. Among the family’s collections were China Trade paintings, Chinese exportware among artifacts from around the world. Records indicate that the J.N. CUSHING’s first captain may have been Newburyport native Capt. William H. Swap.

The Cushing family thrived in Newburyport for generations. J.N.’s son Caleb Cushing would go on to become Attorney General of the United States. The Cushing’s former brick Federalist-style home, purchased by J.N. and home to the family for generations, is now a museum. Cushing House showcases the shipbuilding and merchant shipping history of the area and artifacts from the Cushing’s ships fill the museum collection.

Dawson gives a nice starboard view of the vessel with the sea approaching her broadside. The ship’s details are particularly well rendered including on deck details and several figures of sailors working the ship forward and climbing the rigging. Overall an excellent painting with the attributes of Dawson’s most desirable artworks.

Montague Dawson
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Ships That Pass

Compositions featuring a shipboard perspective are rare within Montague Dawson's prolific body of work, and “Ships That Pass” offers dynamic insight into this distinctive yet fascinating genre of his career. This is one of Dawson’s larger canvases depicting two windjammers passing in opposite directions. The perspective is an onboard view from the foreground vessel’s deck with the oncoming ship nicely posed at the top of a rising sea. Two seamen are shown coiling down lines at the main shrouds of the deck view.

Always evocatively dramatic, Dawson’s stirring romanticism in portraying the world of sailing ships catapulted him to world-wide fame and popularity in the mid-twentieth century. His works are probably the best known examples of the genre in the 20th century. Collected by royalty and American Presidents, Dawson’s output defines a high point in the history of marine painting. This example is a strong composition typical of the artist’s best endeavors. Using strong coloration to enhance this unique perspective, Montague Dawson offers the viewer a unique and enduring visual record of an encounter on the high seas during the great age of sail.

Likely an event inspired by the crowded sea lanes off America’s West coast, this painting beautifully narrates a historically common occurrence as ocean commerce fed the growth of the new west beginning with the gold rush in California and steadily developing well into the 20th century.



 
William John Huggins
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The Northern Whale Fishery

The Ship Harmony of Hull and Other Ice-Bound Whalers on the Davis Straits between Baffin Bay, Canada and Greenland.

Huggins, a one time a sailor with the East India Company and firsthand witness to the scene depicted, first painted this well-known image in 1828. Entitled Northern Whale Fishery, the image was engraved by Edward Duncan in 1829 (Huggins son-in-law) and brought greater fame to both men for illuminating the rewards and perils of whaling in the icy waters on the Davis Strait whaling ground between southeast Baffin Bay, Canada and Greenland. The original 1828 work now hangs in the renowned New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Massachusetts.

This second, larger and more proficient interpretation of the scene was most likely commissioned by Robert Bell in 1835 (son to Thomas Bell, owner of the HARMONY). The American built bark HARMONY of 292 tons sits at the center of the painting with the MARGARET of London to the left and the ELIZA SWAN of Montrose to the right. Filled with incredible detail throughout, nearly every aspect of whaling is depicted- from the chase and capture, to processing the catch alongside, to “trying out” or boiling down the blubber on HARMONY’s bow.

Two other masted ships are shown, including one foundering as the ice closes in on her hull, her crew surely trying to salvage what they can as they stand alongside. Penguins gather on an ice floe near one of the twelve depicted whale boats as it closes in on a catch. Birds circle all the ships, hoping for a morsel. Huggins sets the scene masterfully and the viewer can almost feel what it’s like to be there.

Authentic period paintings of the very interesting and historically significant whaling era are extremely rare. This painting not only depicts history, it is itself an important piece of history, combining fine detail, skillful brushwork and sensitive coloration in a work that any collector would cherish.

Antonio Jacobsen
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New York Yacht Club Fleet Race, 1889 PALMER Leading ATALANTA

Antonio Jacobsen was an incredibly prolific artist, but the works most prized by collectors are his yachting scenes, particularly pieces like this exceptional example, done in his best period the late 1880’s, featuring yachts of the New York Yacht Club.

In what appears to be a fleet race for New York Yacht Club Members on Long Island Sound during the 1880’s, the foreground vessel is easily identified by her owner’s private signal as the center-board schooner PALMER, built in 1869 for Rutherford Stuyvesant, an early member of the New York Yacht Club. The schooner was named after the famous designer and clipper ship captain Nathaniel B. Palmer who was also a member and early promoter of the NYYC.

Trailing the leading boats is a twin stack side-wheel excursion steamer, a common sight at such races. Jacobsen himself must have been among the spectators on such boats many times to so well capture the graceful sweep of sails above sleek hulls cutting through the waves. Many other ships populate the distant horizon on both sides, including on the right a hove to sailing ship with a steam tug moving away, having dropped the tow after delivering the ship to its anchorage.

The 100’ PALMER was designed by R.F. Loper; and built at Philadelphia in 1869 at the yard of Hillman and Steaker. This yacht was one of four NYYC schooners selected for the second defense of the America’s Cup in October, 1871. She enjoyed a successful racing career well into the 20th century.

The indistinct owner’s pennant on the vessel immediately trailing PALMER off her port quarter points to it being the 100’ schooner ATALANTA- the first racer owned by William B. Astor, Jr. The 145 Ton ATALANTA was built by David Carll (1830-1888) at City Island, New York in 1873 and became widely known as a fast boat, especially in light winds. Her name was later shortened to ATLANTA. She was the first of several successful racing schooners owned by Astor. Jacobsen’s use of color and excellent composition of this desirable subject- well-known schooners matched many times- make it a top work by the artist.

Michele Renault
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Ship HOUGHTON Entering Leghorn

The port of Livorno sits on the western coast of Tuscany, on the Ligurian Sea. Livorno is the capitol of the province of the same name, and has been a center of trade for centuries. Historically, the city was called Leghorn in English.

The full-rigged ship HOUGHTON of 787 tons was built in 1849 and was originally owned by her builder Levi Houghton & Sons of Bath, Maine. Records indicate that the ship was used for a time to carry Irish immigrants fleeing the Great Potato Famine to the United States. Later, the ship became used primarily for trade and cargo, which this portrait proves brought it to Livorno's shores.

At the end of the 17th century, Livorno underwent a period of great urban planning and expansion, eventually becoming the most important port in Tuscany. Powerful shipping countries established trading houses in the city, bringing sailors and visitors in large numbers, particularly the British and French.

The city's importance did not escape Napoleon's notice, and during the late 18th century's Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars his troops would occupy Livorno. By 1808 all of Tuscany was incorporated into the Napoleonic Empire. After Napoleonic France's defeat and surrender in May 1814, the Congress of Vienna gave rule of Tuscany to Austria. That would last until 1861 when the then Kingdom of Italy would regain control of Livorno. Renault's notable inclusion of three Italian flags on shore and sea in this painting surely commemorates the recent victory.

Historical records indicate that many American merchant vessels were expected in Livorno in late 1862. Clearly the HOUGHTON and her captain, William G. Percy were among those to enter the port. Renault has shown the ship here with all of the artistic skill and technical accuracy for which he is best known.

Renault's depiction offers a level of detail and breadth of scope rare among the artist's works. We see a full panorama of Livorno harbor including the fortified sea wall. Multiple ships, including at least two other American vessels, line the harbor, with many more fading into the distance. Smaller local boats sit between, and a group of fishing boats lie just off HOUGHTON's bow. Livorno's harbor fort and lighthouse protect the dense city whose buildings crowd right to the water's edge.

Having sailed into Livorno, Commander Percy would have instantly known this view. He commissioned Renault to create, in this work, an exceptional reminder of his ship's visit to the port. The best work by the artist that we have seen.



 
Robert Salmon
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On the Clyde

This view by Robert Salmon shows diverse maritime activity on the narrow waterway known as The Kyles of Bute, in the Firth of Clyde. On the central horizon rises the peak on Bute Island above Black (Farland) Point, identifying the popular cruising area and race course for the Clyde Yacht Club. Also known as Argyll’s Secret Coast, the area was extremely popular with most cruising members of the prestigious Royal Yacht Clubs.

Although the scene shows little yachting activity, the composition is filled with myriad vessels engaged in their daily toil and with Salmon's trademark fine detail throughout. In the foreground, four men tend to stowing gear aboard a small fishing smack after a day on the water. On shore, a group of anglers are cast fishing beneath the stern of a merchant ship hauled out for repairs and maintenance. In the central mid-ground, the bow of a local fishing vessel protrudes from behind the quay. The right of the composition shows a squadron of three naval warships on different points of sail, giving a perspective of bow, stern and profile views.

Robert Salmon is widely regarded as the best known painter to emerge from the Northern English Channel. He grew up in Northwest Britain near the River Clyde, where he began painting maritime subjects at an early age. In 1828 Salmon immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, where he would cement his international reputation. Salmon’s paintings are at once visually appealing and historically accurate. Like many of his best works this scene features a luminous sky and a scene full of excellent narrative details. His works are rich repositories of wonderful scenery, shipping interest and developing maritime technology, making them extremely popular with collectors world-wide.

Warren Sheppard
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Yacht CORNELIA at the New York Yacht Club Regatta

A memorable American yacht racing moment, preserved as art, has several schooners owned by members of the New York Yacht Club racing in their annual summer regatta on June 11, 1874. Prominent in the center of this painting is CORNELIA, owned by Dr. Joseph Vondy. Vondy was a member of both the N.Y.Y.C. and the Jersey City Yacht Club, and most likely directly commissioned artist Warren Sheppard. Closest in competition is the Schooner VISION, owned by member J.S. Alexandre with his family’s burgee atop the main, and a nearby top-sail schooner. In the distance is believed the event’s winner, John Walker’s Schooner GRACIE. The Sandy Hook Lighthouse is a small white sliver of a tower, visible above CORNELIA’s stern rail and light-brightened sails.

Sheppard was well known in the late 19th Century New York art world, and a proponent of maritime activities. This era saw changes in American yacht racing, with a growing audience, the publication of the first yachting annual, Fox’s in 1872, and the international debate over measures and ratings that would dominate the coming decade. The New York club’s outside ocean course offered a different challenge, and the big schooners excelled over it. CORNELIA, built in 1873 by James McGarrick, measured a respectable 65' 8".

The atmosphere is full of heavy, darker clouds, and CORNELIA has turned into the headlong wind. VISION is preparing to come about, and the rolling swells are breaking against their sharp hulls. The annual regatta, first held in 1845 just after the birth of the club, took slightly more than six hours to complete this year. CORNELIA would leave the club’s list by 1877. James E. Buttersworth would also paint this race near the Sandy Hook Lightship; his painting today is in the Mystic Maritime Museum collection.

James Gale Tyler
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Schooner Yacht WATER WITCH in New York Harbor

This fascinating narrative appears to be a personal memoir of the yacht’s owner. Four vessels are shown, and all four wear the private signal of New York Yacht Club commodore and advertising magnate J. Walter Thompson. In this work, Commodore Thompson acquired an action packed image of his fleet of personal yachts. The primary subject vessel is the schooner WATER WITCH, designed and built in 1881 by D.O. Richmond at Mystic, Connecticut for Charles Mallory, also of the NYYC.

James Gayle Tyler has skillfully depicted WATER WITCH on port tack on Long Island Sound. Two steam yachts appear in the background, one of which is undoubtedly STELLA, the steam yacht Thompson owned while he was NYYC commodore. A small steam launch in the foreground also flies the Thompson flag. The most likely explanation for Tyler’s composition is that that it was likely created on direct commission from J. Walter Thompson to portray his impressive ‘quiver’ of yachts.

WATER WITCH enjoyed a stellar racing career under several owners. Mallory sold the vessel to Charles Armour (of the meat packing family) in 1887. Armour then sold her to J. Walter Thompson in 1890. In 1894, David Banks bought the schooner from Thompson. Banks in turn sold WATER WITCH to George Gould in 1895. The painting is known to have decorated the offices at different times of Banks, Gould, and Thompson.

Painted in Tyler's best period this is an outstanding rendering of a collection of vessels set in a sea and sky alive with active brushwork. One of the best works by the artist we've seen.



 
William Bradford
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Sunrise off Grand Manan Island, 1860 SOLD
James E. Buttersworth
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American Steam Schooner Meets British Frigates Crossing the English Channel

Three ships - an American Three-Masted Steam Schooner, a British Sailing Royal Navy Frigate and a British Sidewheel Steam Naval Frigate - are all challenged by a tempestuous sea in this English Channel crossing scene. The British sailors work in unison to reef and employ sails on both frigates, running with the heavy, wind-driven sea towards Ramsgate, while the fore-and-aft rigged steam schooner burns her boilers while keeping her sails up to help stabilize the pitch and roll of the American ship, headed to continental Europe. Buttersworth has expertly detailed the actions of the men, their ships and the dramatic setting. Many other ships lay at anchorages off the Kent coast, showing from the Cliffs of Dover to the fortifications of Ramsgate.

This early visit by an American sail/steam vessel to England is remarkable. The first such transatlantic voyage happened in 1819, by the historic S.S. SAVANNAH, and it’d take almost 20 years to be repeated. Among the first names of American Steam Schooners to make British ports, ASP, HARRIET, and BRUTUS are among those recorded. MIDAS, a steam schooner owned by Robert Bennett Forbes, was the first American steamship to China, in 1844.

Showing a varied and illuminated sky that is recognized as a signature of Buttersworth’s artistic talent in his paintings, the stormy clouds are split by a sunburst opening, reflective light creating an emotional, positive hope for the subjects. The English Channel is at its narrowest width in this stretch off Kent, home to the Cinque Ports regulating trade and naval protection in the English Southeast for centuries. Buttersworth is soon bound for life in America, making this one of his last, and in our opinion, best British scenes painted in England.

Thomas Buttersworth
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H.M.S. Shannon Boards U.S.S. Chesapeake off Boston SOLD

This historic depiction of the Battle of Boston Harbor illuminates one of the most famous sea battles in both American and British Naval history. On the afternoon of June 1, 1813 the U.S.S. CHESAPEAKE sailed out of Boston to meet the challenge of the waiting H.M.S. SHANNON.

Although a British victory, by a supreme irony, the Americans would emerge from the defeat with the greater benefit. For it was in this battle that the gallant young American Commander James Lawrence spoke the immortal words "Don't Give Up The Ship" as he lay mortally wounded on CHESAPEAKE’s deck. This famous phrase infused the fledgling U.S. Navy with an even more vigorous determination to fight and win.

The battle was brief but intense. In about fifteen minutes, 252 men were killed or wounded between the two sides, a large number of casualties for such a conflict. Though the ships were evenly matched, CHESAPEAKE’s crew was primarily made up of men new to the ship, who, while themselves well trained, had had little time to drill together or with Captain Lawrence, also new to the ship. In contrast, SHANNON’s Commander, Sir Philip Bowes Vere Broke, was an expert in naval gunnery who had modified his cannons for greater aim and maneuverability and then spent a long voyage with his crew training them to fire on key targets to quickly disable opposing ships.

CHESAPEAKE took more serious hits in their early exchanges of cannon fire, the fatal blow being the loss of her ship’s wheel. With no way to maneuver, the wind and waves carried CHESAPEAKE into SHANNON’s starboard side where she took another barrage of heavy fire before the British crew lashed the two ships together. When the smoke cleared, Broke gave the command to board CHESAPEAKE.

After taking relentless fire across his decks, Captain Lawrence remained the only officer on CHESAPEAKE’s quarterdeck, his lieutenants wounded below. Lawrence also gave the order to board, and it is this moment where the two crews met in pitched hand to hand combat that Buttersworth has so brilliantly depicted here.

Figures line the decks of each ship, trading musket fire as the cannon flash below. Sailors climb the tangle of fallen rigging to reach their opponents, swords raised in the charge. The fading light of day illuminates both ships, damaged but still deep in the fight, neither ready to give way.

Detail is outstanding, but it is the drama of the conflict that Buttersworth so skillfully portrays. The cannon smoke surrounds the ships, but off to the right it clears to show us Boston Harbor busy with trade- capturing the essence of America’s freedoms won just a few decades before. It was America’s desire for self-determination as a nation and continued independence from Britain that led to the conflict here.

The white flag shown on CHESAPEAKE is historically accurate, though not as a symbol of surrender. CHESAPEAKE was known to have left harbor flying a large white flag at the foremast inscribed “Free Trade and Sailor's Rights” – representing America’s main grievances in the War of 1812.

By all accounts both sides fought bravely and with distinction. Lawrence was hit in the first wave of fire by the British coming aboard, and it was while members of his crew carried him below that he would give the infamous order, "Tell the men to fire faster! Don't give up the ship!"

Lawrence’s last command to his crew became a rallying cry for the American Navy throughout the war. Later, Lawrence’s peer, Captain Oliver Hazard Perry would take his friend’s words and emblazon them on his battle flag, winning the day at the Battle of Lake Erie, a significant turning point to the overall American victory. The motto has inspired U.S. Naval sailors from that time until today and Perry’s original flag is on display at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Captain Broke led the charge onto CHESAPEAKE and in the battle to follow would also sustain a serious injury and, while he survived and went on to receive many honors for this victory, he would never again serve at sea.

A brilliant portrait of one of the most important naval actions ever fought, this painting embodies the fighting spirit of the great naval sailors of history.



 
James E. Buttersworth
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PURITAN Races Towards The Narrows Off Brooklyn

A sloop with a plum bow, strongly believed to be famous PURITAN fresh off her successful America’s Cup defense in 1885, races with two schooners off the coast of Brooklyn and Staten Island in New York’s Lower Bay. A full rigged merchant sailing ship heads out under tow from a pilot steam tug, and several other sails fill “The Narrows”, the watery gap between the headlands on the approach to Upper New York Bay and the seaport of Manhattan. James E. Buttersworth earned his reputation as the premier artist of 19th Century American yachting, and while he painted through the Northeast, this is one of his favored locations.

The water of New York Bay is animated with a stiff breeze-driven chop, harmonious to the late afternoon setting sun, while seabirds stay just above the surface. While the light is still strong, the racers are headed to their home berths. PURITAN, owned and raced by John Malcom Forbes, was built in the New York Yard of George Lawley & Son in 1885. She triumphed in the defense of the America’s Cup in 1885 against the English challenge of Sir Richard Sutton and his Cutter GENESTA. PURITAN, with her compromise cutter hull / sloop rig, was one of the very first of her style built in America. She’d be the primary influence for MAYFLOWER which would win the Cup Defense the following year.

The New York headlands appear just distant enough to show little but their green foliage, and the sky varies to a sunny brilliance toward heavy clouds. The white hulled yacht was one of the very first so styled, after having her hull painted black for her Cup match. Soon, all others would follow suit.

Charles Cohill
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Rare American Portrait of Whale Ship Captain Moses Nickerson

Master Mariner Moses Nickerson, son of Ezra Nickerson, was born in 1812, and died at sea in 1871. The Nickerson family is quite prominent throughout Barnstable County which encompasses all of Cape Cod. The family is primarily descended from William Nickerson (1604–1689), founder of the town of Chatham. Captain Nickerson’s home is one of Cape Cod’s historic landmarks and is preserved as a popular Bed and Breakfast Inn at Chatham.

The Nickersons are legendary throughout the New England whale fishery. A well-known and respected whaling captain, Moses Nickerson commanded numerous whale ships. His young cousin, Thomas Nickerson was the 15 year-old cabin boy aboard the famous whale ship ESSEX that was sunk by a sperm whale in 1820 and became the basis for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and is a main character in the 2015 film “In the Heart of the Sea”.

Between 1840 and 1850 Moses Nickerson was known to have owned or captained five whale ships: 130 ton Schooner R. S. SOPER, 80 ton Schooner E. R. COOK, 130 ton Schooner WALTER ERWIN, 162 ton Brig GEM and 130 ton Brig ENOCH NICKERSON.

Included with the painting is an original letter, written from Captain Nickerson to his wife dated July 12th, 1863. In it, he details preparations for the voyage he is about to undertake from Belfast, Ireland back home to Cape Cod, Massachusetts aboard his ship MARY EDSON. Photos of the letter and a copy of the text are shown here.

The first chapter in any history of American art will relate that the earliest paintings done here were traditional portraits of American Sea Captains. The sources for the New World’s indigenous art, may be traced to America’s dependence and development of the Maritime culture. Paintings of this quality are highly sought after by knowledgeable collectors and museums world-wide.

Charles Cohill (1812-1860) was a Pennsylvania artist who studied under John Neagle and specialized in oil portraits such as this fine example. Cohill portrays a young Captain Nickerson aged 34 years, in a frock coat, white shirt and cravat holding a two-draw mahogany and brass telescope.

Both Cohill and his subject were the same age at the time of this sitting. Saluting medieval tradition, the small vignette to the left shows a ship, likely one of the Captain’s whalers, heading out to sea under full sail. Direct and unpretentious, this portrait shows the artist’s use of full lighting on the face to enhance features and suggest personality. The subtle luminosity suffuses the background and adds depth overall. This portrait was created to outlast Moses Nickerson’s mortality, and it has succeeded admirably.

Frederick S. Cozzens
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Match Race Challenge, RAMBLER vs MADELINE, 1872

Extreme speed on display, with two of the premier big racing schooners of the 19th Century American East, Commodore W.H. Thomas’s RAMBLER leading Jacob B. Voorhies’ MADELEINE in a head-to-head match on Sept. 19, 1872. The two classic schooners set out from Brenton Reef Lightship, voyaged round Sandy Hook Lightship and return to the Newport, Rhode Island coast. The match was won by RAMBLER almost four hours ahead of MADELEINE at the finish 43 hours, 25 minutes, 32 seconds later.

A rare painting of the earliest days of yacht racing, this is more so since it is the earliest identified and extremely rare oil painting by the noted watercolor artist and illustrator Cozzens. The sharp parallel lines and racing trim of both yachts is in keeping with the early works of his noted peer Antonio Jacobsen, both artists building upon the foundation of great American yachting works by James E. Buttersworth.

Dated 1872, the schooners achieved fame over a span of years. MADELEINE launched as a sloop in 1868, built by David Kirby of Rye, New York. She would be altered to a schooner in 1870, and modified in 1871, 1873 and 1875 until she earned the reputation as the fastest American yacht in 1876 and successfully defended the America’ Cup from Lord Dunraven’s challenger, COUNTESS OF DUFFERIN. RAMBLER was part of the fleet defense of the Auld Mug in 1870, and soundly beat MADELEINE twice in 1872. Thomas sold the yacht in the late 1880s and she was used to sail 60 tons of dynamite under the command of Captain John “Dynamite” O’Brien to Panama in 1888. Leisure, speed and glory would be both of theirs.



 
Frederick S. Cozzens
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Reaching After the Cup

Beautifully composed, this exhibition of premier yacht racing features an 1895 period view of the America’s Cup battle between the New York Yacht Club’s DEFENDER and Lord Dunraven’s VALKYRIE III, representing the Royal Yacht Squadron. The DEFENDER’s crew, captained by Hank Haff on behalf of managing owner C. Oliver Iselin for J. Pierpont Morgan and William K. Vanderbilt, is hard at work changing the jib sails. Against the popular consensus of employing Scandinavian professionals to crew, Haff chose his from the ranks of Maine’s fishing fleets.

A rare painting of a Cup race, Cozzens’ number one subject, which redefined several aspects of head-to-head yacht racing, including the rules pertaining to length of waterline and ballast, the third and final match is shown. DEFENDER had already won the first, and was fouled at the start of the second match and was awarded that day’s victory. The third match, on September 12, was heavily attended, but the massive spectator fleet was kept further back, as Dunraven had squarely blamed the big New York Steamer YORKTOWN of undue interference for the earlier mishap, despite photographic evidence squarely putting the blame on the VALKYRIE’s maneuver. At the start, Dunraven had his yacht throw a tow rope to his tug, and pulled away from the course, never to race again.

Dated 1895, Cozzens was undoubtedly present, and witnessed the glory of Nathaniel Herrshoff’s beautiful keel design, with her steel frame and brass and bronze connected aluminum features covered with white pine and mahogany. Unfortunately, due to the aluminum swelling, she lasted but five years, but she absolutely served the purpose for which she was built, defending the Cup.

Montague Dawson
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British Submarine H.M.S. SEALION Rescues a P-51 Mustang Pilot

In a sense, Montague Dawson's illustration work began in World War I when the artist was serving as a Royal Navy "Dazzle Camouflage" artist. Dazzle Camouflage was the practice of painting ships in complex black and white geometric patterns, not to hide ships but to make it difficult to estimate a target's range, speed, and heading. This duty also gave him ample opportunities to observe and draw a broad range of Naval ships.

During the war some of Dawson's illustrations were published in Britain's "The Sphere" magazine (1900-1964) and the London Illustrated News. His most notable published works in this period were drawings of the final surrender of the German High Seas Fleet, something he witnessed firsthand.

After the War, Dawson devoted himself full time to becoming a professional marine artist, concentrating on historical subjects and portraits of deep-water sailing ships on active seas. During World War II, Dawson became an official war artist while also again contributing illustrations to The Sphere and other publications. Many of these wartime works were painted in the classical grisaille technique; using shades of grey to create tremendous depth and dimensionality. This also made the pieces easy to publish in black and white, so this illustration was intended for publication.

Many of Dawson's wartime pieces were dramatic depictions of battle, such as the one seen here. Royal Navy S-class submarine, H.M.S. SEALION (72S), braves artillery fire to surface and rescue the pilot of a downed R.A.F. P-51 Mustang fighter.

SEALION was launched on 16th March 1934, though her career was most eventful after the outbreak of the war. Under the command of Lt. Commander (later Rear Admiral) Benjamin Bryant, SEALION is known to have engaged and damaged or sunk several German U-Boats and many Axis supply ships. SEALION was also one of a number of submarines ordered to track the German battleship BISMARCK before her eventual sinking.

Though U.S. built, the P-51 Mustang aircraft were originally designed for Britain's Royal Air Force, and to their specifications. Mustangs were superior to the RAF's more common Spitfire fighters- faster by about 30 mph with more than double the range. First flown as tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bombers, the Mustang's reliability and range led to their later being used as bomber escorts on raids over Germany.

Mustangs were not the easiest aircraft to ditch in the air, nor were they easy to emergency land on water. According to the P-51 manual, the procedure for ditching was to approach the water with one wing low and execute a shallow bank turn. When that wing tip struck the water, the rudder was kicked hard over to that side, making the plane slew around. Once down the pilot had to get out fast- even if he was able to land with the nose up, the front air intake would act as a scoop, pulling the plane under water nose first. The plane's design wouldn't allow it to skim the surface; there was really no way to land without pulling water into that intake, something Dawson clearly understood since this work shows the Mustang with the nose already under water.

Here the pilot has touched down just right- with one wing in the water, taking the brunt force of the landing. Now he's got just seconds before the aircraft will sink below the waves. Racing across to the higher wing, he'll jump as close to the sub as he can. On SEALION, submariners top the conning tower to call orders to the on deck crew ready to throw a line once the pilot is in the water. Four on deck guns- two on the conn tower and two on the forward deck, are manned and ready to provide cover fire.

Bright white flashes on the nearby shore show us the source of the artillery fire, shells splashing perilously close to SEALION's bow. The late afternoon sun has just sunk below the clouds and Dawson has added even more drama by filling the sky with brilliant beams of light.

Scenes of military bravery like this one helped boost wartime morale, particularly in this late war period when the British public were hoping that increasing Allied victories would at last bring an end to the fighting. This is one of the best narrative Dawson illustrations we've come across.

The two reference photos shown here are period views of H.M.S. SEALION underway on the River Clyde, painted in dazzle camouflage and a P-51 Mustang with R.A.F. colors.

Montague Dawson
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Schooner Races Around the Mark

An event of the Royal London Yacht Club, this regatta was likely held off the southern coast, and is dated 1925. The most likely candidate for the racing schooner is WESTWARD, the two-masted yacht just clearing the club launch which served as the turning mark. Three yachts of the club, designated by the numeric ranks on their upper points of the gaff sails, run near her. A fifth is interestingly painted on the work’s edge intentionally by the artist.

The artist often painted contemporary scenes from first-hand observations, rather than the historic records and models from which he produced his clipper ship images. Historic subject matter blends well with the strong artistic quality of this work to create an exceptionally nice period yachting scene by this actively sought after artist.



 
Montague Dawson
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The Clipper BLUE JACKET

The extreme clipper Blue Jacket of 1790 tons launched in 1854, plying the Liverpool and Australia trades for the White Star Line and later the Fox Line of Australian Packets. Unusually elegant in her design and interiors, she caught the attention of U.S. Nautical Magazine who described her lush cabins, parlors and saloon as a “miniature palace.”

Designed by Donald McKay and built by Seccomb & Taylor of Boston, BLUE JACKET was white oak, with planking and ceilings of white pine, diagonally braced with iron and square fastened throughout. She sat at 235’ LOA, 41.5’ at the beam, with a 24’ draft. Her name came from the slang for both British and American sailors, and their uniforms which included dark blue jackets.

BLUE JACKET is described as having an appearance of “strength and power” typical of McKay’s ships, which is surely what must have drawn Montague Dawson to depict her in his own characteristic style. With her port side digging into the churning waves, Blue Jacket is bent over and pushed hard with the wind in her sails- decks awash revealing water coming from the port scuppers. With the wind off her stern she is no doubt making good time in this following sea. Portraits like this, of hard driving ships in active seas made Dawson famous. Yet in this work he shows more than usual skill in the sky with fine work in the clouds and excellent tonality and light.

Until her untimely demise due to fire off the Falkland Islands in 1869, Blue Jacket sailed across the globe from Boston, San Francisco and Honolulu in the US, to Liverpool and London, then south to Melbourne and New Zealand and up to Madras, India. Her distinctive figurehead of a man from the waist up in a naval blue jacket with yellow buttons was later found over two years later off the coast of Western Australia. It’s calculated that the figure drifted over 6000 miles after being separated from the ship.

George M. Hathaway
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Coming Through the Mists, Maine Harbor

In this atmospheric Maine harbor view, the grey tone of the fog enveloping the sea and sky lend an air of realism to a striking composition. Granite and green are the colors of the Maine Coast, and here, George Hathaway shows a familiarity with his New England roots. The harbor is likely Portland, a favored location of the artist which he portrayed in many of his works. The composition depicts an overcast sky and flat water enshrouding an arriving white-hulled bark. The bark has every stitch of canvas set to catch any whisper of wind in the calm inner harbor.

A Portland “Black Stack” tug, with a crewman ready at the bow holding a heaving line, makes its way alongside to assist maneuvering the bark to her anchorage. In the busy harbor, a schooner’s topsails rise out of the mist off the bark’s starboard beam and a second downeaster trails in the bark’s wake. In the left foreground, a dangerous “snag” in the form of a single protruding dock piling, illustrates an ever-present reminder to keep a sharp lookout.

In his native Maine, Hathaway was well recognized for his eloquent views of the Maine coast, and this lovely composition is one of the very best examples of his work we have ever come across. The primary vessel is nicely detailed, with her “catted” anchor ready to be “let go” and accurate portrayal of the prominent rows of deadeyes anchoring the mast shrouds. The bark is “in ballast”, riding high on her lines having not yet taken on a cargo. The overall coloration is a soft study in marine mood, muting the overall effect and nicely highlighting the subject vessels.

This is a fine marine work and should be considered for its acute realism and exquisite coloration.

Abraham Hulk, Sr.
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Fishing Boats at Sunset

The influence of early Dutch marine masters on English sea painters shows significant presence in this work by Abraham Hulk. Hulk was known for his skillful and detailed depiction of the indigenous coastal craft of the Netherlands and the men who worked aboard these ships, but his true excellence shows in works like this where the emphasis is on atmospheric effect and lighting.

Fisherman in boats near and far are pulling in their nets and assessing the day’s catch, all bathed in the fading glow of sunset. Light fills the painting- the sun sinks behind the sails of a nearby barque at anchor and highlights buildings on the far shore. Seabirds hover over sparkling water, hoping for a kindly fisherman to share their spoils. The mood is idyllic and serene.

Often identified as a Dutch artist due to his extended residence and studies at the Amsterdam Academy under Augustin Daiwaille, the London born Hulk’s works are desired by collectors who appreciate realism combined with idealized, narrative settings. He is widely considered one of the true masters at portraying the expressive qualities of ambiance in romantic calms.

The low lying lands on either side of the channel create tremendous depth in the composition, which coupled with all the other elements make this a very sophisticated piece among the artist’s oeuvre. Somewhat in the style of his immediate predecessors of British marine art, Domenic Serres and Francis Swaine, this work is at the top of the artists’ output.



 
Charles Robert Patterson
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All Hands on the Mainstay

Charles Robert Patterson’s reputation was of a powerful maritime artist dedicated to an accurate portrayal of life aboard ship. Here, a long line of sailors in wet weather gear stand along the port side of a full rigged ship hauling the braces- long lines attached to the outer ends of the yardarms. This will trim the sails, rotating a yardarm around the mast, allowing the ship to sail at different angles to the wind. Adjusting the sails on a fully rigged ship, such as the one here, is much more difficult than on a smaller sailing yacht. The braces on large ships carry heavy loads but have few blocks, so this maneuver usually requires the entire crew to be called to "bracing stations" with many people pulling to move the large sails against the wind.

As is common in works by the artist, Patterson has blended excellent details with outstanding coloration and active brushwork and the result is a vibrant and exciting narrative view.

On deck scenes like this one are uniquely desirable for collectors of maritime art. Artists like Patterson, with years of firsthand experience aboard the ships they portrayed, were intimately aware of the excitements and trials of life at sea and carried that knowledge onto their canvases. This is particularly true when, as here, we see the sailor’s faces, drenched in spray, hard at their task and all pulling as one to guide themselves and their craft over the waves. A roll to port puts their feet ankle deep in water on deck, but with a touch of warm tones, Patterson makes us aware this is no crisis, just another day at sea. The setting sun gilds the sails above and lends a touch of warm light over the white caps. The ship’s master stands calmly; with all confidence in his men. Overall this is a maritime scene of quality that calls to any with a love of the sea.

Charles S. Raleigh
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Ship LUCY G. DOW

The strength of a great ship portrait lies with its overall striking composition blended with an attention to detail. Charles Sidney Raleigh was extremely skilled with both elements, and this is one of his finest works. An American full-rigged ship of large proportions, LUCY G. DOW is one of many ships owned by Maine interests, where the ship would be locally built and consortium owned. More Maine captains owned part of their ships than any other East Coast region, it appears through an informal survey of lists.

Note the fine details of the captain and crew hard at work onboard off the coast. The numerous buildings are clustered on the peninsular stretch with a pier coming out near the lighthouse’s walkway. At the distance, ship masts rise from a prominent harbor. All are shown with Raleigh’s folk art styling and perspective, much emulating maritime master James Bard.

The Dow family has extensive roots through Massachusetts, Maine and British Columbia, Canada with many sailing vessels to their credit as builders and owners. Boston, Southport, Portland and Oromocto all were shipbuilding yard locations for members of the family. One descendant, with access to the various worldly cargoes, would go on to establish Dow Chemical Company, and continue the family’s name recognition through the 21st Century. Several family members were named Lucy over the years, and one of them in specific would have been as proud as the more than a dozen other family members with ships named after them.

Robert Salmon
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Whitehaven Quay

Whitehaven is a small town and port on the coast of Cumbria, England 70 miles North of Liverpool. Historically a part of Cumberland, it has a manmade harbor which partially dries out at low water due to its exposure to the prevailing westerly winds.

This animated scene likely depicts the sinking of the British ship ACTIVE which sank in strong winds just off Whitehaven Beach on November 25, 1826, after completing a voyage from Dublin. ACTIVE was one of two vessels lost at Whitehaven on the same day. Citizen volunteers of the Whitehaven Surf Lifesaving Service are shown launching a rescue boat to aid the desperate crewmen seen clinging to the rigging of the foundering ship. Two other vessels are shown careened on the beach as was common during low water. Whitehaven Quay, and the uncompleted West Pier lighthouse are prominent details in the background. The seawalls and piers at Whitehaven, protecting the inner harbor, were developed over a considerable span of time. The masts of vessels berthed in the inner harbor are detailed prominently behind the West Pier lighthouse.

Although mostly associated with Liverpool and Boston, Robert Salmon was born in Whitehaven in 1775. In 1802, the first painting he exhibited at the Royal Academy was of Whitehaven harbor. The range of Salmon’s compositions extends well beyond those of his contemporaries. His skillful use of light and shade adds interest and perspective to the subject. Salmon’s characteristic luminosity and depth of field highlights his outstanding attention to detail.

Salmon’s paintings are notable for their subtle lighting in sea and sky. The threatening atmosphere in this view shows a dramatic cloud formation that aptly illustrates the drama and ever present perils of the rugged English coast. The wind whipped sea is receding from the shore, the tidal forces creating violent wave action in direct opposition to the prevailing wind. Such detail is typical of Robert Salmon’s obsession with accurately portraying weather conditions in all of his paintings.

This work illustrates an air of sophistication evocative of the most skilled examples Robert Salmon’s celebrated career.



 
Henry Scott
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Stunsails Wide

A bright sky serves as a background to fast-moving merchant sailing ship on a deep-toned rolling ocean in this oil painting by maritime enthusiast and artist Henry Scott. The medium clipper, tall at five courses of sail up her masts, employs stuns’ls at the extreme lengths of her yards, using the extra canvas to push ahead of her competitor on the horizon.

Scott, an artistic fixture amongst the wharfs of Liverpool, was well familiar with some of the last Clipper Ships sailing. His professional association with the Master Mariners of Liverpool kept him recording the great ships of his days and the historic vessels and stories personally recounted to him by the men who lived those moments. The tea trade and racing to be the first ship to market were some of the most prominent stories told, but far from the only ones. Epic storms, fast passages and chance encounters over the world’s oceans all make appearances in his artworks. Crew members manning the forward rail would have some interesting tales to tell.

Illuminating the canvas work of Scott’s textured brush strokes, which in this case are intentionally capturing the direction of the natural elements. One of several artists to follow in the wake of Marine Master Montague Dawson, Scott was also represented by Frost & Reed Galleries. In this case, Scott is careful to show neither the ship’s carved figurehead or nameboard to concrete his subject ship’s identity. Scott chose her instead to be representative of a great many of the last “Wooden Walls” of the world’s merchant sailing ships.

Xanthus Smith
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Visiting Day at the US Life Saving Service

Although suggesting a yacht or boating club due to its prime waterfront location, this panoramic view by Philadelphia artist Xanthus Smith, most likely shows a US Lifesaving Service facility in one of the mid-Atlantic states.

Originating in the mid-1800’s, the U.S. Lifesaving Service’s earliest buildings were strictly utilitarian, but as the Service grew, so did the size of the stations. By the 1880s, they were becoming more fashionable and usually were made up of two or three structures as shown here. The main building contained the offices and berthing area for the crew and usually featured a lookout tower on the roof. Smaller buildings housed classrooms and medical facilities. Some were built to resemble a Swiss chalet and one was even designed with a clock tower. Noted architect A. B. Bibb designed stations like this one that looked much like beach resort homes with lookout towers. The stations were usually located near the approaches to major ports and were maintained by the United States Revenue Marine (later renamed the United States Revenue Cutter Service). In 1915 the service was merged into the United States Coast Guard.

The large main building features a smaller carriage house in back and a smaller building next to an Eagle topped flagpole flying the American ensign. At the base of a small pier, two surf-boats hang in davits next to a boathouse which would have housed additional rescue gear. A figural sculpture holding a drawn bow adorns the boathouse roof. On the small foreground lawn are seen three cannon-like Lyle guns on wheeled carriages. These line-throwing guns shot a projectile up to 600 yards. The projectile carried a small messenger line by which the shipwrecked sailors were able to pull out a heavier hawser.

In the background, there is a sidewheel passenger steamer in mid channel, while in the foreground two figures in a Gaff-Sloop with red pennant & the American ensign are shown. Three figures in a black hulled pulling boat are astern of the sloop while two additional figures stand by at the end of the dock where a second gaff sloop is tied up with its sails slack. The scene suggests a holiday or visitor’s day at the facility, with figures in both uniform and civilian dress prominently featured.

After much research we were unable to pinpoint this location. If anyone recognizes these buildings/inlet, please contact us. We'd like to narrow down the exact facility.

John Stobart
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Ship N.B. PALMER off the Golden Gate

A stalwart American Clipper Ship, N.B. PALMER launched in 1851 out of Jacob Westervelt’s New York yard. Named after the renowned Stonington, Connecticut sea captain and ship designer Nathaniel Brown Palmer, whose exploits include becoming a ship’s captain at 21, and soon after being the first American captain to discover the Antarctic Peninsula. The namesake clipper ship, owned by A.A. Lowe & Brother, sailed for the company for years in the China Trade. The Lowe’s were very successful with their Chinese business dealings, and owned several of earliest American clippers built.

The artist John Stobart is known for being an exacting historian as well as a leading marine artist. Well proportioned with sleek lines, the ship sails over an excellent portrayal of the Pacific Ocean and vast bright sky. Distant ships near the California headland are in view. His precise details reveal more about the 202' large clipper; her Merchant Code flags are up the hoist above the American ensign, and she slices a speedy wake as she cuts across the open water. Stobart painted a superior blend of sunlight and shadows on the sails. In 1858, she set a record of 82 days from Shanghai to New York.

“Captain Nat” as he was informally known, was directly involved in the design of the first American Clipper. One story reports he carved the wood hull model of Low’s Clipper HOUQUA while sailing home from China as captain of the ship PAUL JONES in 1843. The Low’s showed their respect by hiring him as their marine advisor, and later by naming this remarkable vessel after him while he was an active ship owner himself. Stobart honors their shared history with this top-quality artwork.



 
James Bard
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BLACK WARRIOR at Sea

A striking portrait of a very large American sidewheel paddle steamer on her maiden voyage from New York to Mobile, Alabama, and on from there to Havana, Cuba. The BLACK WARRIOR began the voyage in her home port of New York City. Bard has undoubtedly painted her in concert with either her listed builder, William Collyer of New York, whose name is included by the artist on the canvas, or the owners, Livingston, Crocheron & Co. Launched in 1852, the line soon moved its southern base to New Orleans, establishing a foothold in a region soon in direct competition with the Vanderbilt and Morgan families.

Her deep luster coloration is expertly portrayed by Bard. He has used draftmanship in composing the full outline of the steam/sail transition vessel, and then worked in painstaking detail to apply every touch of oil, down to the pointillist-style of the water’s wake against the hull and the top of the ocean swells. The brooding sky colors compliment the impressive heavy sense of the 1556-ton steam/sail paddlewheeler, with the flags brightly displayed before the clouded sky. Several gentlemen sailors are visible on deck, attending to the coastwise Atlantic journey. With the placement of the American Government’s streaming pennant at the main mast top, undoubtably this included mail to the South, and possibly return news of the recent Gold Boom in California. She would stay on this route until a snow squall off Rockaway, Long Island put her aground on Feb. 20, 1859.

Arthur Beaumont
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Aircraft Carrier USS ENTERPRISE

Arthur Edwaine Beaumont was known for his loose yet highly accurate portrayals of Naval ships and his signature style is evident in “Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. ENTERPRISE,” painted in 1944.

The USS Enterprise (CV-6), which was sometimes known as “Big E,” was a Yorktown-class aircraft carrier that was active from 1936 to 1947. The ENTERPRISE was awarded 20 battle stars, making it the most decorated ship of WWII. Nicknamed the Grey Ghost, the Japanese announced that she was sunk three different times. ENTERPRISE participated in more action with Japan than any other United States ship and was one of only three carriers commissioned by the US before WWII that survived the war.

ENTERPRISE was first based in San Diego, and classic movie fans may recognize her from “Dive Bomber” a 1941 film that starred Errol Flynn and Fred MacMurray. Later, President Roosevelt ordered her to move to Pearl Harbor and the carrier transported aircraft among the island bases of the Pacific. Enterprise was at sea on its way back to Hawaii after completing one of these missions when it received a radio message from Pearl Harbor reporting that the base was under attack. On that fateful day on December 7th, 1941, Grunman F4F Wildcat fighters screened the Enterprise so that she could enter Pearl Harbor for fuel and supplies. The next morning she sailed early to patrol for other threats against the island. A few days later, she sank Japanese submarine 1-70.

ENTERPRISE saw a lot of action besides Pearl Harbor and also participated in the Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf among others. The ENTERPRISE was one of fourteen ships equipped with the early RCA CXAM-1 Radar, which certainly contributed to her success. However, she also endured battle scars. For example, a Japanese bomb exploded on the flight deck of ENTERPRISE, a Grumman F6F Helicat crash landed on her deck, and later a kamikaze pilot brought further destruction.

The carrier was fully repaired and prepared to return to battle with all planes aboard when the atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki and ended WWII on August 9, 1945. Afterward, ENTERPRISE continued to serve her country, and traveled to Pearl Harbor to pick up over 1,000 servicemen including hospital patients and former POWs in order to bring them to New York via the Panama Canal. Later she completed three voyages to Europe and brought more than 10,000 war veterans home.

In this painting, Beaumont expressively captures an active sea and the war-time activity that surrounds the USS ENTERPRISE. A squadron of fighters head out on a mission and Beaumont effectively captures the speed at which they soar after taking off from the deck. Although other ships are in the distance, there doesn’t appear to be an active combat situation in view although the dark clouds above lend to a foreboding atmosphere. The colors used in the sea and signal flags are eye catching. The striking composition of this naval narrative, created by one of the most noted American naval artists, would make a great addition to the collection of any history buff.

James E. Buttersworth
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The PHILLIP R. PAULDING in New York Harbor SOLD

An outstanding work by maritime master, James E. Buttersworth, this painting shows the Hudson River Schooner PHILLIP R. PAULDING cutting through the waters around Manhattan. Just in front of her bow is Castle Clinton and the masts of many other ships docked behind and near the fort. Built in 1840, the PAULDING was one of many used to transport cargo along the Hudson River. A fine and detailed portrait.



 
Thomas Chambers
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U.S.S. UNITED STATES Defeats H.M.S. MACEDONIAN

During the war of 1812 when the young American Navy sailed forth to oppose the powerful British Royal Navy few could have guessed the unprecedented string of victories the Americans would achieve. One of the greatest engagements was fought on October 25, 1812 between the American 44 gun frigate U.S.S. UNITED STATES and Britain's 49 gun frigate H.M.S. MACEDONIAN.

Under the command of the hero of Tripoli, Stephen Decatur, the outgunned UNITED STATES returned the opening salvos from the highly favored MACEDONIAN with devastating accuracy and effect. Within 90 minutes the British vessel had received over 100 cannon shot in her hull and was completely dismasted and unable to maneuver. It became known as one of the most humiliating defeats in the history of the Royal Navy.

Thomas Chambers has captured here the staggering victory with the virtually untouched UNITED STATES pouring yet another devastating broadside into the hull of MACEDONIAN. The figure of young Stephen Decatur may be seen directing fire from the quarter deck, while his counterpart, British captain John Carden surveys the damage on his once proud vessel.

Chinese School
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Ship FRANK CARVILL off Hong Kong

Sought by collectors worldwide, art showing an early western presence in the Orient boomed with the opening of the China Trade by way of the sailing ship. The competition between the Dutch and English, followed by America and England, for the growing tea trade contributed to a worldwide focus in the orient trade. As a result, captains commissioned talented Chinese artists to document the vessels whose reputation for speed and efficiency were breaking all records.

This portrait was likely commissioned by the company, Francis Carvill and Sons to document their new ship, the FRANK CARVILL, built in New Brunswick, Canada in 1875, as she carried a cargo into the port of Hong Kong.

Francis “Frank” Carvill (1800-1854) was, in his time, the largest employer and trader in the port of Newry, County Down, Ireland. Besides owning sawmills and factories, Carvill was the first person to bring shipbuilding to Newry and owned several vessels himself. The Carvill Company acted as an emigration agent for those going to North America during the worst years of the Irish Potato Famine, with many successful sailings to ports in America and Canada. Carvill’s vessels were known to be sound and comfortable with captains who were kindly custodians of those making the perilous crossing. Newry County still retains the letters of praise and gratitude to Carvill and Co. from former fellow townsmen whom they had carried to new lives. It is said that there was hardly a project in the town that Carvill didn’t touch, and he is remembered as a great civic supporter and philanthropist. It is no wonder then that in later years his sons would name one of the company’s new ships in honor of their father.

The business would continue to grow after Frank Carvill’s death, broadening their interests to further manufacturing and shipping of goods which clearly included commerce in the bustling ports of Asia, where this portrait would have been made. This is a particularly well rendered and detailed painting with excellent coloration. The ship is shown at her best, in good proportion with sail and deck in high detail. That combined with an unusually fine depiction of sea and sky mark this as the work of an highly skilled artisan of the Chinese School.

Set in a period Chinese Chippendale frame with gilt highlights.

Tomaso De Simone
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British Schooner Anchored at Naples

A classic scene of a large mid-Nineteenth Century schooner at rest in the Mediterranean port painted by the Italian countryman Tomaso De Simone. The complete narrative scene around the schooner’s broadside is complemented with a British merchant steam/sail ship, local boats and the colorful sky and headland architecture of the ancient city.

The vast serenity and unspoiled life of cruising the Mediterranean Ocean is a must for pleasure yachting. No less so 150 years ago, when the British schooners of several yacht clubs are reported to have staged a long-distance race for the 1864 season. It is believed that the club burgee flying on this yacht is of the Royal Western Yacht Club, based at Queen Anne’s Battery in Portsmouth, established in 1833. At home, the schooner VINDEX earned the record as top racer, with MADCAP as the second-best yacht for a season full of events.

Atmospherically, this work is a joy, with its full headland displaying the classic buildings of the Italian port. While the American Civil War raged and the English professed neutrality, their economic and nationalistic interests lay intertwined with the Confederate South, and its cotton exports and shipping needs. While on pleasure cruises and private challenge runs, the British undoubtedly kept an eye open for the unfolding events of the American War Between the States, played out on the World’s waters.



 
William Edgar
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Barkentine THOMAS P. EMIGH SOLD

Reaching under full sail, including a jib-headed “kicker” topsail on the Jigger mast, the white-hulled barkentine THOMAS P. EMIGH is depicted approaching what appears to be the headland near Byron’s Bay, Australia. The EMIGH engaged primarily in the Pacific lumber trade and Byron’s Bay was one of Australia’s foremost timber ports. Byron Point lighthouse, which marks the easternmost point on the Australian continent, is visible on its promontory high in the mist in the far distance. A tug, a steamer and a schooner are shown off the harbor entrance, under the EMIGH’s bowsprit.

Launched at Tacoma in 1902, the 1040 ton THOS P. EMIGH was owned and operated by the Charles Nelson Shipping Company of Oakland whose house flag is shown at the truck of the mainmast. Her correct signal letters K.R.L.Q. are displayed beneath the American ensign at the top of the Jigger mast. At 211.6’L x 42.4’B x 16.4’D, the EMIGH was the largest vessel built by the legendary Northern California shipbuilder Thomas Petersen.

William Edgar ship portraits are stunning in their realism and attention to nautical detail. His realistic seas capture the offshore blues and greens found only in deep offshore waters and his skies are abundant with nautical atmosphere. This portrait of the THOMAS P. EMIGH shows her sailing with every sail in the inventory full and drawing, parting the waves with a prominent “bone in her teeth.”

The painting is accompanied by photos of the ship launching and on deck scenes of the captain and his family as well as a letter from the captain to his wife. These items were handed down through the family of the ship’s part owner and master, M.A. Ipsen.

Anton Otto Fischer
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The Dreadnought Battleship U.S.S. WYOMING of 1911

Showcasing the strength and power of the formidable battleships known as Dreadnoughts, Anton Otto Fischer portrays USS WYOMING dramatically crashing through heavy swells while underway in stormy seas. Passing to port on a reciprocal course to windward, a large three-masted schooner works, hull down, in the confused sea state. Fischer beautifully illustrates the drama of heavy weather and its nearly minimal effect on one of America’s most revered capital ships.

USS WYOMING (BB32) was the first of two battleships that would make up the Wyoming class of warship. At a length of 562’ with a 93’ beam and a draft of 28’6”, the 27,000 ton WYOMING and her sister USS ARKANSAS were the fourth Dreadnought design built for the United States Navy. WYOMING was laid down in February 1910 at the Cramp and Sons yard in Philadelphia, was launched in May 1911, and finally completed in September 1912. She was armed with a main battery of twelve 12-inch (305 mm) guns and capable of a top speed of 20.5 knots (23.6 mph).

WYOMING served proudly as part of US Battleship Division 9 during WWI, which became the Sixth Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet while active in British waters. After the war, she became one of the first units of the newly designated Pacific Fleet and was home ported in both San Diego and San Pedro, conducting exercises off the California coast. During this period, future Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey served as the battleship’s executive officer.

During WWII, WYOMING served with distinction as a gunnery ship attached to the United States Naval Academy, training some 35,000 midshipmen as gunnery officers. Wyoming was decommissioned in 1947 and her name struck from the Navy list. Her hulk was sold for scrap and she was broken up at New York in December 1947.

Gordon Hope Grant
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U.S.S. UNITED STATES Bombards H.M.S. MACEDONIAN SOLD

A dynamic painted view of a conflict at sea between America and Great Britain over national rights and Imperial ambitions, the first frigate of the United States, aptly named UNITED STATES, de-masts the British MACEDONIAN on the way to capturing the valuable ship as a war prize on Oct. 25, 1812. Grant has imbued the scene with the dramatic impact and an aesthetically strong interpretation of the important naval battle, nailing the historic fact of the U.S. Frigate’s complete defeat of King George III’s Ship off the coast of Africa.

Slightly more than two months after the U.S.S. CONSTITUTION won the first naval engagement of the war, the frigate UNITED STATES of 44-guns fell in with H.M.S. MACEDONIAN of 38-guns. The British captain, John Carden, had been Captain Stephen Decatur’s dinner guest in January, and had jokingly bet a “beaver hat” on an outcome between their ships. Little did either know that nine months later Decatur would command his 24-pounders to fire on his friend. American marksmanship and range proved superior, and UNITED STATES would strike, bear-away slightly, reload, and strike again. In a two-hour engagement, MACEDONIAN’s masts were shot down and topped off. It is recorded that more than 100 rounds hit the Brits ‘between wind and wave’.

The two ships would take five-weeks to sail to New York, where MACEDONIAN would be purchased by the American government and become an fighting navy asset for years. Her Alexander the Great figurehead and four 18-pounders are still on display at Annapolis. Grant has put together a powerful rendering of the conflict in an impressionistic, fluid portrayal.



 
Otto Muhlenfeld
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Great Lakes Tugboat CALUMET

An artist who knew the vessels he painted firsthand, Baltimore artist Otto Muhlenfeld has captured the Great Lakes Steam Tug CALUMET in a colorful, working profile. Her American Ensign outreaches her name pennant, and a gilded pilot house eagle sits atop the unusual 360-cabin structure of her bridge. Her black funnel reaches skyward, through an atmosphere and a sea that have characteristics of folk art, always desirable in early American original artworks.

Launched in 1892 out of Milwaukee, CALUMET carries the name of the Chicago River off Lake Erie, and served primarily along the entirety of the Erie Canal route, from the lakes to Buffalo and on down the Hudson to Albany, making all points of the Atlantic Ocean possible. Later in 1913 an entire class of tugboats would carry her name and a similar design, and prove popular enough for a Calumet Shipyard to specialize in their construction.

Shown early in her career, CALUMET is painted in deep tones, and the 62.55 gross ton vessel was a capable worker, assisting vessels of all sorts. Muhlenfeld painted a series of portraits, many of them tugs, in this era, directly commissioned to portray the ships. The artist employs a level of drafting skills in the depiction of the ship’s line and detail.

John Eric Christian Petersen
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Rescue of the ROYAL ALBERT SOLD

This fascinating work by John Erik Christian Petersen provides a dramatic, although historically obscure vision of a Maritime drama. It depicts the British Blackwall frigate ROYAL ALBERT, dismasted and foundering, her ensign inverted in the universal signal of distress. Her quarter deck is crowded with crew and passengers awaiting rescue by a fast approaching American Clipper. The clipper’s crew is scrambling to take off sail and launch their lifeboats in response to ROYAL ALBERT’s signal.

The 670 ton barque ROYAL ALBERT was built in London for M. I. Wilson at Wigram’s Blackwall shipyard by brothers Henry and Money Wigram. She was launched in 1844 and one of the vessels that became popularly known as “Blackwall Frigates”, her hull was of Fir and in 1856 her bottom was sheathed in felt and plates of yellow metal (60% copper and 40% zinc). Barque rigged, she also carried square topsail yards and Spencer sails on both her main and mizzen masts. Under Captain William Robinson, she entered the merchant trade carrying passengers and cargo between London and Calcutta. In 1855, under charter to the Highland and Island Emigration Society, she began carrying immigrant passengers between Plymouth and Adelaide, South Australia.

After 1864, ROYAL ALBERT disappears from all registries, and her fate is unknown. Extensive research has failed to uncover an account of her sinking, or any incident in which she was in distress and assisted by a clipper ship. In this exceptional rendering, ROYAL ALBERT and home port of London are clearly identified on her stern. The American clipper also carries her name on both bow and stern boards, but the name is indecipherable. Petersen’s outstanding detail has perhaps left us a clue- both the bowsprit and foremast of the ROYAL ALBERT are broken; several sails are shredded and rigging flies free or tangled; whitecaps top each rolling wave as they crash into both vessels. Is this the aftermath of a storm? If so, ROYAL ALBERT has carried her passengers and crew safely. Even if the ship was damaged, she is a credit to her builders.

John Erik Christian Petersen, widely acclaimed for his excellent skill at portraying maritime narratives, accurately documented an event that has since been lost to history. Nevertheless we can enjoy it as a poignant depiction of a journey and a rescue in the age of sail.

Archibald Cary Smith
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Catboats on Oyster Bay, Long Island SOLD

Before trading his drafting board for a full time easel, Archibald Cary Smith was one of America’s premier yacht designers. The subject vessels in this work are two cat-rigged craft known as “sandbaggers”. The cat-rig features a single mast situated well forward, near the bow, and carries only a large single sail with no standing rigging. “Archie” Smith was an early builder of these “sandbaggers”, so named for the movable sandbags they carried for ballast.

Fishermen along the New Jersey coast established a need for a very small vessel of light draft, for sailing in shoal water and for mooring on mudflats. Smith was an avid catboat sailor, and designed his first, the 25 foot COMET, in 1862. The center for building and sailing “sandbaggers” was New York Harbor, particularly Oyster Bay with its miles of mud flats, which were free to all who cared to moor on them.

Shown on what is likely Oyster Bay with Long Island in the background, Smith portrays two cat boats on opposite points of sail. The artist shows much activity in the background with numerous vessels under weigh. The foreground vessel is obviously a yacht, with its dapper four man crew enjoying a lively sail in the comfortable oval cockpit. Like many of Smith’s paintings, this is likely a painting of a yacht that he designed. The protruding submerged trees and choppy sea state illustrate the boat is in shoal water, conditions ideal for its shallow draft. Off the yacht’s port bow, heading in the opposite direction, is an open boat type, more conducive to fishing and commercial work, being single handed by a lone figure at the helm.



 
Joseph B. Smith
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Schooner AURELIA P. HOWE

This is an extremely well done narrative ship portrait by one of the more elusive American marine painters, Joseph B. Smith. The schooner AURELIA P. HOWE, named after the daughter of a Manhattan business family, launched in 1845 out of Baltimore, Maryland and worked in the Chesapeake and Atlantic coastwise trade. Shown in her early glory, the schooner would be part of a legal battle in 1858, disappearing from the news to surface for Civil War charter service.

The painting is a well performed composition, with the primary subject crisply detailed and proudly showing her tell-tale flags, the artistic hand of Smith clearly evident. The charm of the setting, we believe off the New York coast, includes a top-sail schooner, other fore-and-aft rigs, a white-hulled, walking-beam sidewheel steamer, and two very animated men making the most of the day fishing, a touch which is a very unusual addition to a ship portrait. The schooner’s crew is on deck, and there’s a nice sense of motion to the ship in the water. Another near identical Smith painting of the schooner is known, closer to a shore without most of the supporting cast. Our painting has a New York artist supply label verso from 1835-1865.

The schooner would be in a New York Times brief in 1858, when Andrew F. Higgins acquires partial title to it in settlement of an account of Master William Tilby. Later, in 1863, soldiers of Company C, the Fifty-First Volunteer Regiment of Massachusetts would use it for transport out of Baltimore during the Civil War, recording their voyages in several published letters. Miss Aurelia Perry Howe married mariner Moses Kelley Glines, and their son George would be born in Baltimore in 1849, quite possibly while his parents or grandparents owned the merchant schooner.

Alexander Charles Stuart
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Full Rigged Ship GATHERER

A stalwart American ship clearing the Delaware headed for Honolulu with a load of coal, this broadside ship portrait by Alexander Charles Stuart is of the Ship GATHERER. In her maiden year of service, the Bath, Maine-built Downeaster went to New Orleans with hay, took a load of cotton from there to Liverpool, and crossed to collect the coal in Philadelphia before heading to Hawaii. She’d make 8 Cape Horn voyages, averaging about 129 days, a profitable and fast sailing Downeaster, and yet still record one of the bloodiest voyages in merchant maritime history.

In this portrait, A.C. Stuart shows the large wooden vessel as built by Albert Hathorn, a 1,509 ton Downeaster especially constructed for the Cape Horn Trade. Measuring 208’1” x 40’2” x 24’3”, she’d sell to Jacob Jensen at San Francisco in 1888, serve 17 years on the Pacific rigged as a bark, and then transfer to New York interests to carry lumber from Puget Sound to New York in 1905, and become a towed barge, eventually lost off the coast of Virginia in 1909 with 2,400 tons of coal.

While her first captains, Joseph and George Thompson, earned GATHERER a good reputation as a fast sailer especially for such a large square-rigger, reaching 15½ knots and 350 miles a day from Honolulu back to the Columbia River in 1874, a voyage from Antwerp to Wilmington, California in 1881 would darken her name. Under Captain John Sparks and Chief Mate Charlie Watts the ship earned an unsavory reputation of “Hell Ship” and whispered title of “The Bloody Gatherer”, and eventually Watts six years in Folsom Prison for cruelty on the high seas. While the dark names stuck, she proved to be far more of a success than this one tragic voyage. Stuart has captured her early glory.

David Thimgan
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British 12-Metre Yacht SCEPTRE in a Match Race

A dynamic action painting, this portrait of British 12-Meter Racing Yacht SCEPTRE in pursuit is a striking view of a beloved vessel. SCEPTRE, built for a consortium in Alexander Robertson’s yard in Holy Loch, Argyll, Scotland, was partially inspired by British success at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. SCEPTRE, with sailing designation K17, would soon became the first racing yacht to challenge for the America’s Cup since 1937.

Crisp lines and coloration abound in this scene, an 1981 dated work by Thimgan already possessing his great attention to detail and superior composition. Raked with speed and showing the crew working onboard, SCEPTRE has her competitor in sight and closing. Her first race was in a trial against EVAINE nine days after her April 2, 1958 launching, and by summer she was headed to Newport, Rhode Island to compete against American defender COLUMBIA of the New York Yacht Club. In defeat, SCEPTRE’s decent showing and enthusiasm help rekindle worldwide interest in International Yacht racing.

The racing yacht would go on to be owned in the 1960s by Eric Maxwell, who sold her in 1971 to Edward King, and then she was acquired by Tony Walker of Lytham, who restored the 12-metre yacht over years to perfection. Once undertaken, Walker helped found the Sceptre Preservation Society in 1986, who still own and operate the yacht today. This excellent painting serves as a elegant memento to the history of 12-metre international yacht racing.



 
John Tudgay
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The Barque SCOTLAND Off Dover in Two Positions

A strong commissioned portrait of the Portland, Maine barque straight from the heart of the sailing era. Likely ordered by her master, Jacob Merryman, for her owner, William Stanwood, the ship served for years. The two position portrait is complimented with the small ketch and gig boat near her, and the nice profile of the sidewheel steam pilot awaiting her maneuver. The Dover headland with a silhouette of the main castle complete the scene.

It is interesting to note that the works of I. Tudgay appear only in the singular, rather than in conjunction with the other family members. There is one school of thought which believes that ‘J’ and ‘I’ are the same.

This portrait shows some very tight detail in both views of the barque, which is reefing in sails to come to anchor. Built in 1836 at Brunswick, Maine for her owner by Stephen Harris, she measured 132’9"L x 30’1.5"B x 15’1"D. Harris had family members in the lumber and ship building trades since the pre-colonial establishment of the Kennebec communities, whom were widely known for their American schooners. Only fitting she is portrayed in a fine manner by this renown member of a family of artists.

Samuel Walters
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American Packet CHAMPLAIN

A masterful two-position portrait of the American Sailing Packet CHAMPLAIN, straight from Samuel Walters early, outstanding period of marine art. On an outside approach to Liverpool past Holyhead, Anglesey, the stalwart presence of the Trinity House’s South Stack Lighthouse is in distant view. CHAMPLAIN has her request for a local pilot to guide her safely to a Liverpool berth flying on top of the main mast, and her “C” swallowtail Philadelphia houseflag at the main-top. In the second-position, she is being met by Pilot Schooner 6, IRLAM, built in 1831 by Mottershead, Heyes & Son of Liverpool.

In a lively green sea that has come to be known as a hallmark of the Liverpool School of artists, the American packet ship is portrayed in profile with at least 26 people, crew and passengers, including women wearing bonnets, shown ondeck. Walter’s trademark accuracy faithfully portrays the smallest details, evidenced by the ship’s prominent figurehead of the famous explorer of North America, Samuel de Champlain, in a kilt with a long rifle.

CHAMPLAIN was built in New York in 1834 and registered in her home port of Philadelphia, making several voyages to China by way of Britain and back. Walters painted another view of her in 1836 immediately off Perch Rock Fort and Lighthouse that is in the CIGNA Museum Collection of Philadelphia. This is a superior work of art with great historic content.

Isiah Whyte
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Battle of Boston Harbor, USS CHESAPEAKE and HMS SHANNON

This unique period painting of the War of 1812’s Battle of Boston Harbor utilizes a layered reverse glass technique to depict one of the most famous sea battles in American and British Naval History- American ship U.S.S. CHESAPEAKE in the thick of combat alongside Britain’s H.M.S. SHANNON. Full details on the battle are below.

This painting is unique among Isiah Whyte’s paintings for a number of reasons. First, all of the other surviving examples of Whyte’s works are ship’s portraits of American war vessels, this is the only battle scene known to exist. It is also his only known double pane reverse glass painting, something that makes it not only rare for the artist but also among reverse glass paintings in general, most are single pane. Finally, all of his glass works have the sails in black silhouette; this is the only example of his glass work in full color and detail.

The first pane includes the CHESAPEAKE and an overlay of darker green tones in the sea along with the black and gilt églomisé painted mat. The second pane depicts the SHANNON and a lighter blue toned sea. Both glass plates sit above a softly painted watercolor background on paper. Whyte left clever lightly or unpainted areas in the front panel, allowing the lower panel details to show through, a technique which gives the work a great deal of depth and vitality.

This layering technique creates a striking image of the two ships firing their cannon broadsides at close range, the smoke so thick that each ship can hardly see the other. The fighting crew of CHESAPEAKE covers the deck while a few others stand on yardarms high above to scout the SHANNON’s condition and adjust sails.

As is typical of Whyte’s works, the painting is signed on a glass panel on the reverse painted side, so when looking at the painting the signature appears backward. We have reversed it in one of our photos for ease of reading on our website.

The reversed photo also shows CHESAPEAKE’s flag; the ship was known to have entered this battle sailing a white flag adorned with the motto of the War of 1812, “Free Trade and Sailor’s Rights”.

The War of 1812 was fought over attempted British trade restrictions between the United States and France. Britain and France were already engaged in the Napoleonic Wars, and the massive British Navy tried at every turn to maintain their dominance over the seas. Their 600 ships required 140,000 sailors to crew, so the British took to raiding American ships, seizing cargoes and impressing their crews into service aboard Royal Naval vessels. British ships were even known to lie in wait outside American ports raiding American ships in U.S. territorial waters. Sailor’s Rights referred to the right of U.S. sailors to avoid forced impressment and to be recognized as citizens of a sovereign nation, who could not be forced to serve in the Navy of another country.

The Battle of Boston Harbor

On the afternoon of June 1, 1813 the U.S.S. CHESAPEAKE sailed out of Boston to meet the waiting H.M.S. SHANNON. Although a British victory, by a supreme irony, the Americans would emerge from the defeat with the greater benefit. It was in this battle that gallant young American Commander James Lawrence spoke the immortal words "Don't Give Up The Ship" as he lay mortally wounded on CHESAPEAKE’s deck. This famous phrase infused the fledgling U.S. Navy with an even more vigorous determination to fight and win.

The battle was brief but intense. In about fifteen minutes, 252 men were killed or wounded between the two sides, a large number of casualties for such a conflict. Though the ships were evenly matched, CHESAPEAKE’s crew was primarily made up of men new to the ship, who, while well trained, had had little time to drill together or with Captain Lawrence, also new to the ship. In contrast, SHANNON’s Commander, Sir Philip Bowes Vere Broke, was an expert in naval gunnery who had modified his cannons for greater aim and maneuverability and then spent a long voyage with his crew training them to fire on key targets to quickly disable opposing ships.

CHESAPEAKE took more serious hits in their early exchanges of cannon fire, the fatal blow being the loss of her ship’s wheel. With no way to maneuver, the wind and waves carried CHESAPEAKE into SHANNON’s starboard side where she took another barrage of heavy fire before the British crew lashed the two ships together. When the smoke cleared, Broke gave the command to board CHESAPEAKE.

After taking relentless fire across his decks, Captain Lawrence remained the only officer on CHESAPEAKE’s quarterdeck, his lieutenants wounded below. Lawrence also gave the order to board and the two crews met in hand to hand combat- still trading cannon fire from below and musket fire from on deck while sailors raised swords and charged.

By all accounts both sides fought bravely and with distinction. Lawrence was hit in the first wave of fire by the British coming aboard, and it was while members of his crew carried him below that he would give the infamous order, "Tell the men to fire faster! Don't give up the ship!"

Lawrence’s last command to his crew became a rallying cry for the American Navy throughout the war. Later, Lawrence’s peer, Captain Oliver Hazard Perry would take his friend’s words and emblazon them on his battle flag, winning the day at the Battle of Lake Erie, a significant turning point to the overall American victory. The motto has inspired U.S. Naval sailors from that time until today and Perry’s original flag is on display at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Captain Broke led the charge onto CHESAPEAKE and in the battle to follow would also sustain a serious injury and, while he survived and went on to receive many honors for this victory, he would never again serve at sea.

This rare and unique painting depicts a key battle in America’s early history to reaffirm its status as an independent nation from Britain. Painted in Boston and soon after the battle, this is a piece of history from those who witnessed and recorded the events firsthand.



 
James W. Williams
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Outward Bound

There were very few American artists who focused upon marine subjects during this seminal period of American history, and even fewer outside the northeast coast. This factor adds considerably to the interest and value of this particular work, a rare document of the era and showing a unique locale. This oil on canvas depicts a British vessel leaving what we believe to be a port in the American south, very likely the port of New Orleans itself. With a view of the settlement beyond, a stone battlement guards the harbor mouth while a full-rigged ship sits at anchor, awaiting its next passage.

Thomas Willis
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American Schooner of the New York Yacht Club

Excellent color and a depiction of several uniformed sailors with guests onboard a large, fast-moving schooner yacht on the open Atlantic Ocean outside of New York is the heart of this work by New York artist Thomas Willis. While a New York Yacht Club burgee at the foremast top and the American Yachting Ensign with the star-circled anchor are easily identified, the Blue Double-Swallowtail with a gold cross owner’s pennant has yet to reveal the specific identity of the yacht and her owner(s).

Willis worked on direct commissions and undoubtedly knew this vessel. Nice tight detail in the rig and hull of the yacht, with its silk sails well shaped and defined with parallel lines and reef points. Set on an emerald sea rolling headlong at the yacht, Willis has made his sky open and luminous with a subtle pink glow.

This is a fine work, in original condition set in a quality and an outstanding 19th Century frame. The silk and embroidery will remain vibrant out of strong direct sunlight and the oil painted back scene is quite nice and complete. With all her sails up, the identity of this Schooner Yacht is just waiting to be discovered and add more historic content to an excellent work of art.

Thomas Willis
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NYYC Yacht WHITE HEATHER

The handsome vessel portrayed in this work by Thomas Willis, is the magnificent steam yacht WHITE HEATHER, later known more famously as APACHE. In this view, WHITE HEATHER flies the American ensign and the burgee of the New York Yacht Club, dating this work to around 1901 when she was purchased by Harrison Drummond a well-known member of the NYYC. Drummond’s private signal is likely the swallowtail pennant depicted on the mainmast.

WHITE HEATHER was built by the prestigious firm of John Reid and Company at Glasgow in 1890 for R. Cecil Leigh of the Royal Albert Yacht Club. At 443 tons x 198’L x 28.2’B x 13’D, WHITE HEATHER was one of the largest sailing yachts of her time. She spent much of her career cruising the Mediterranean where she was widely praised for her size and elegance. In 1904 she was purchased by Edmond Randolph of New York who changed her name to APACHE.

As APACHE, she raced in the 1905 Kaiser Cup from New York to England. The winds were not strong enough to support her lofty bark rig and she finished last, several days after the rest of the fleet. She is notable as the first yacht of record to be equipped with a Marconi radio, which is said to have filled an entire stateroom.

The silkwork pictures created by Thomas Willis are highly sought after as unique examples of Americana and are unique due to their specialized Maritime subject matter. This work from the turn of the 20th century is unusually large for the artist and reflective of Willis’ most accomplished period, a time when the artist was receiving commissions from important ship owners throughout the Eastern Seaboard.



 
Anonymous Artist
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American Ship CORRA LINN in Two Positions

Painted for a very prominent American ship-owning family of the 19th Century, this two-position portrait of the American Packet CORRA LINN was a direct commission in 1850. With its expressive calligraphic legend announcing its New York-to-Glasgow route, her Master, Capt. Lambert, and smaller, painted text centered in the lower right image border, “Dunham & Dimon, Owners, 1850”. The painting was owned by Thomas Dunham, of Marta’s Vineyard and Brooklyn. As a principle partner with Frederick Dimon, he hired his nephew, Thomas Dunham Fish, who became the company’s owner in 1868. Fish had kept extensive diaries of his days in New York, working for his uncle in 1860-61 at their South Street business locations. These diaries are part of the Woods Hole Historical Museum near Quissett, Massachusetts, where the family settled, while the business records are part of the Mystic Seaport Manuscript Collection. His diary recounts his visiting CORRA LINN at the docks.

A detailed examination confirms two views of the full hulled Merchant Packet Ship, its vertical striped blue and white house-flag on top the main mast, a Scottish Cutter Pilot leading the ship to port. The location is on approach to Glasgow in the eastern Irish Sea. We know this for sure, because the artist painted the words at the base of the landmark, “Island of Aisle”, which today is known as Scotland’s Aisla Craig. Artistic flourishes, such as the rippled American Flag, the full, white sails, the rhythmic sea, and the strong green lifeboats all add to the painting’s historic content.

While Thomas’s nephew inherited the business, his adopted ward, Stephen W. Carey had started his own shipping business with Captain Lambert and the Yale Family. He inherited control of the family estate, and combined with numerous relatives, made notable contributions throughout Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, especially to the community of Quissett. The Carey’s remained a strong presence in Quissett, with Stephen’s granddaughter Cordelia running the famed Harbor House as a hotel for many years until her passing in the 1975. This ship portrait of one of the founder’s first vessels, is a historic remembrance of their success.

Elisha Taylor Baker
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Schooner MADAWASKA MAID

With a traditional folk art look, this portrait of the Maine-built schooner MADAWASKA MAID shows the strong hull lines and balanced sail plan that made Downeast schooners the backbone of American coastal trade in the 19th century. The long clipper bow and extended bowsprit give extra length forward to accommodate the formidable fore-triangle of jumbo, jib and jib-topsail.

MADAWASKA MAID was built on the west bank of the Kennebec River at the town of Phippsburg just south of the city of Bath, Maine. Launched in 1832 at the yard of William Reed she was a 130-ton coaster, 78 feet long with a 23 foot beam and drawing just over 8 feet of water. She is a typical model of the hundreds of Maine coastal schooners that linked east coast ports throughout the 19th century.

In this view the schooner prominently wears her name pennant at the main truck and a small red pennant on her foremast. The American merchant ensign flies from her gaff-peak. The schooner is shown offshore with a large flotilla of other coastal shipping seen on the horizon.

Chinese School
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GLANDINORWIG off Hong Kong

Radiant with its red iron hull, the 1876 Sunderland-built Welsh barque would be identifiable even without the Eryri Shipping Company house flag proudly aloft. Along with three near identical sister ships of the line, they sailed the world, delivering Welsh slate mined from the Snowdonia region and returning to Great Britain with New Orleans cotton, Canadian timber and the spices, silks and silver of the Orient.

On approach to the island of Hong Kong and City of Victoria, the crown jewel of British colonialism (if one excuses them for America), the barque has every stitch of canvas driving her 219.5 feet, 1081 ton-plus stone cargo weight to port. Undoubtedly, Welsh quarrymen traveled along with the sailors to deliver their expertise in carving the sought-after building material, both in Asia and the Americas.

The unidentified Chinese artist used a uniquely styled blue rolling sea to set the sailing merchant upon, complimenting the vivid coloration further with crisp lines and mature shadowing. The sky holds a subtle white vapor which gives the tall ship plenty of breadth. Along with Glanpadarn, Glanperis & Glanivor, Glandinorwig was managed by D.P. Williams, a druggist of Llanberis, Wales, from her home port of Caernarvon. They derive their names from towns of the region, while the company name translates as “place of the eagles”, referring back to the mountain where the slate was mined. The stone was shipped to cities the world over, including China’s recognizable island.



 
Chinese School
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PEGASUS Off the China Coast SOLD

A beautiful medium clipper of iron, Pegasus and her identical sister ship, Reliance, were built in 1884 for Charles W. Corsar , a leading canvas maker of Liverpool. They sailed the world’s oceans, carrying British goods to the east and west coasts of America, and from there buying the raw materials of lumber, coal and nitrate for transport and trade to the South Pacific colonies. They would then visit the exotic ports of the far East, and return the teas, silvers, furniture and materials of the Orient to Liverpool. Pegasus held to this circuit for nearly 30 years.

The uncredited Chinese artist who created this portrait did a masterful job, showing her strengths of a full-bodied rake with the canvas full and flags on display, including her international merchant code flags exactly performed. Although owned by Cosar & Sons with their prominent houseflag and beautiful carved pegasus figurehead, the ships were managed for their interest by W.T. Dixon & Sons of Liverpool, who were connected to brokers and ports all over the world. She measured 314'l x 42'3"b x 24'9"d at 2564 tons.

The prominence of the four-masted barks is accentuated with the six-courses of sail on the fore, main and mizzen masts. Pegasus and Reliance were the first ships ever built and recorded with their officers quarters located midship, and the bright fine hardwood of their construction stands out on this painting of superb coloration. Pegasus sailed until 1912, when a storm ran her onto market island in the Gulf of Bothnia. Her load of Scandinavian lumber helped keep her afloat, and she made her last stop at the Baltic Sea port of revel under tow.

C. Clausen
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MOSCOW of Boston

This beautifully detailed and proportioned ship portrait is the earliest known surviving work by the artist, but undoubtedly, it is far from the first he painted. It has such professional styling and bearing the commander’s name, B. Pittman and as such was almost assuredly a direct commission. The only other known work held in a public collection compares favorably - Bark ELLEN Passing Elsinore Castle - is in the Collection of the Peabody Essex Museum of Salem. Undoubtably others exist in private European and American collections. The Danish Castle made famous in Shakespeare’s Hamlet is unmistakable as the headland setting.

MOSCOW was built by the Portland, Maine yard of David Spear and Son, circa 1830. She originally was rigged as a full ship and weighed 300 tons. Her configuration here is after conversion to a bark, with her identity not only twice written by the artist, but shown in the Boston Flag Code high on the mizzen mast, a pre-cursor to the developing International Merchant Flag Codes. MOSCOW served as an Atlantic Packet for a succession of Boston owners, as is most remembered under the command of Captain William Dane Phelps, when he sailed her to San Francisco and came home to much fanfare in 1849 with one of the first barrels of California gold.

George Curtis
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The Broken Mast

It is subjectively proven that artistic inspiration strikes individuals in varied and unique ways. In this single painting, an appreciative audience may examine how the early luminous artist brought forth a work of accomplished artistic beauty from the subject matter of the rescue of a ship which has lost most of her rig. The sense is one of relief, not disaster, and further examination illustrates just how expertly Curtis was at portraying complex emotions with subtle suggestive touches.

The weather holds as a fair day with an ethereal fog lingering about while a coastal schooner takes passengers aboard. The danger of being stranded or even sinking has faded, and gone is the zephyr which demasted the sailing ship. The weather has turned so fair as to make it possible for a sailing barque and sidewheel steamer to continue on to their destinations beyond the two ships, which certainly are in view to the distressed ship at distance.

Curtis is considered a rising stars of marine art; all quite unusual when it is marked that he painted more than 100 years ago. His re-emergence well established, his original takes on painting views of Boston area ships and harbors made him a local favorite then and a nationally sought after artist today. He is one of America’s premier marine luminous artists.



 
Montague Dawson
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Nearing Home, The HELICON SOLD

Bright and magnificent, the Ship HELICON slices on a quick reach in this maritime merchant ship portrait with its remarkable realism in his signature loose stroke. The sailing ship carries a proper spread of canvas for the existing wind, and Montague Dawson portrays numerous sailors active on her deck and in the rigging. Her white hull glistens, and shows some of the inevitable rust of a hard-working steel-and-iron hull ship. The ocean is alive with movement beneath the ship.

HELICON was built by Charles Connell & Co. of Glasgow to order for German owners Bernard Wencke & Son in 1887. She measured 230'6" Length with a 38'4" Beam, and weighed in at 1613 net tons. Connell & Co. had launched a near-identical sister ship to HELICON the year prior, the historic vessel BALCLUTHA, which is now a famous museum ship based in San Francisco.

After Wencke purchased the British STAR OF THE SEA in 1884, they renamed that ship HELICON. Loaded with 2000 tons of railroad tracks, the ship departed Hull on Feb. 2, 1886, bound for Sydney. She was never seen again. In memory, the Wencke firm named their newest ship HELICON, and it served the company on voyages to Australia, Chile and Africa for years, selling to Spanish interests in 1920. The ship served nine more years as VIUDA LLUSA, until broken up in 1929. Dawson may have known this ship early as an artist, and revisited the subject later in his career to produce this painting.

Michel S. Grebyem
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U.S.S. MAINE Entering Havana Harbor and U.S. Fleet at San Juan

USS Maine Entering Havana Harbor, Dated 1898

The USS MAINE was one of the very first American Battleships built after the Civil War. First conceived as an armored cruiser, she, along with her sister ship USS TEXAS, was commissioned in 1895 and designated a Second Class Battleship.

Weighing 6,682 tons and manned by a crew of 354 officers and men, the MAINE earned her place in history on February 15, 1898 when she exploded and sank in Havana Harbor with the loss of 260 lives. The subsequent inquiry concluded that she had been deliberately sunk by a Spanish torpedo or mine and her loss was considered a major factor in precipitating the Spanish American war.

This painting by Michel Grebyem has significant historical appeal as it was painted in 1898 shortly after the explosion and depicts the MAINE steaming past Morro Castle into Havana with her peacetime dress of white topsides and buff colored upper works, a combination that would soon change throughout the Navy to battleship grey.


U.S. Fleet at San Juan

When the armored battleship MAINE was blown up, supposedly by a Spanish mine, in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898, the United States seized the opportunity to dislodge Spain from her last remaining footholds in the Caribbean, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Navy had three battleships on the east coast, IOWA, INDIANA, and MASSACHUSETTS as well as the older TEXAS and two armored cruisers. Reinforced by the battleship OREGON which made a spectacular 13,000 mile dash from the Pacific, this battle fleet engaged the Spanish fleet at Santiago Bay on July 3rd and won an overwhelming victory, successfully eliminating Spanish sea power in the Caribbean.

The following week, as shown in this historical Michel Grebyem painting, the triumphant battle fleet steamed into San Juan, Puerto Rico opposed only by limited shore batteries. This brought to a close the hostilities and wiped out the last vestige of Spanish influence in Central and Latin America.

John Hughes
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American Full-Rigged Ship M.P. GRACE

In this full port beam view, John Hughes presents a fine portrait of the American full rigged ship M.P. GRACE approaching Liverpool with South Stack, Angelesey coming up just under her bowsprit. Note top-hatted Captain Robert Wilbur, the vessel's first master, on deck reading signals from the Holyhead Signal Station through his long glass.

Hughes' detailed draftsmanship portrays the wooden hulled GRACE, built by Chapman & Flint of Bath, Maine in 1875 with all sail set, striving for a record run to Liverpool. Nice detail is shown in the deck structures and layout and the elegant scrollwork on her bows.

The 1,928.13 gross-ton M.P. GRACE was 229.9 feet in length with a beam of 42.1 feet and a draught of 19.7 feet. Her first home port was New York. In 1898 she became a salmon packer with the San Francisco fleet of George W. Hume & Co. where she worked steadily until 1906.



 
Edward Moran
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Shipping Off Governor's Island

Captured by Moran, a brig under her full flight of sail is ready to brave the open sea away from Manhattan and Governors Islands in the excellent composition of this painting by New York master Edward Moran. A coastal schooner catches a tug boat tow, while several sailing yachts and a large steam liner reside along the horizon, accented by the rosy hue of the sunlight on the red sandstone of Castle Williams on the island headland.

Moran spent many of his professional days along New York’s harbor, and he painted scenes which venture beyond the work of the period’s traditional marine artists and ship portraitists. Even at this distance he presents an accurate depiction of the 40 foot-high walls of the round fort that rests across from Castle Garden and Battery Park. Interesting that Governors Island was one of the first New York locations to be settled and the castle, built in 1811, never fired a shot in warfare. The island was sold to the state of New York in 2003 by George W. Bush.

It bodes well for the sailors that the cloud bank behind them is full and billowy, showing that a the wind is most likely rising. A significant bonus is the artistic taste of Moran when it came to choosing frames for his paintings. The original ornate gilt that he selected is still with this fine work showing the diversity and activity of historic New York.

J.A. Moutte
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Ship BENGAL

One of three 19th Century ship portraits to have surfaced in the modern era by the artist J.A. Moutte, this working scene of the Swedish Ship BENGAL is interesting on several levels. Inscribed with the Captain’s identity, A. Osc. Carlson, and emblazoned with Swedish Merchant Ensign and International Code Flags proclaiming her identity, the ship is a sharp lined, full bodied wooden hull with a large expanse of sail canvas.

Moutte is listed as the principle ship owner with a French firm based in Marseilles that carried his name from 1855-1880. The company owned five ships, all three masters. The first was JOHANN FRIEDERICH, built in 1855 and listed in the German registry. LOUIS MOUTTE was built and registered as a French merchant ship in 1868.

BENGAL, while a wildly popular name in the records of maritime activities, is an as yet unrecognized for a 1872 listing of the Swedish Barque. Buried somewhere in Swedish archives will be her builders history and ports of call, undoubtedly in service to Moutte & Co. directly. This fine watercolor portrait is a first step toward rediscovering its importance.

Otto Muhlenfeld
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Bark AMY

In a fine example of American ship portraiture, Baltimore artist Otto Muhlenfeld shows the Massachusetts-built bark ‘AMY’ on a starboard tack with all sail set. At her main truck flies the owner's flag of the New York firm of Goss and Sawyer. The foremast shows her personal ship’s flag while her name pennant flies from the mizzen. Beneath the American ensign on her gaff truck is a four flag international code signal identifying her by number.

Carrying four jibs and royals set above her topgallants, the bark-rigged ‘AMY’ was obviously designed for speed when she was built in 1883 in Charlestown, Mass. The 700 ton vessel was 159 feet in length with a 32 foot beam and drew 16 feet of water. Goss and Sawyer used her in the Atlantic and Coastal trades.

Shown at the turn of the century, this view shows ‘AMY’ most likely off Baltimore, the region where Muhlenfeld created most of his work. The sea and sky are reminiscent of Antonio Jacobsen, the New York port painter, but Muhlenfeld shows his own singular drafting skills in the depiction of the ship’s lines, rig and deck detail.



 
Mark Myers
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North by Northwest - BALCLUTHA in the Pacific

A fine portrait of the three-masted, steel-hulled, square-rigged ship BALCLUTHA. Launched in 1886 by the Charles Connell and Company shipyard near Glasgow, the BALCLUTHA is a merchant cargo ship known to have carried goods around Cape Horn 17 times. The ship survived the age of sail and now takes aboard museum visitors in San Francisco Bay as part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

Joseph Honoré Maxime Pellegrin
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Brig PANDORA Under Attack

Period pirate action against an American ship is an extremely rare subject. Combined with the Caribbean account within this work and it is one of the outstanding snippets of history we have come across in recent years. With present muzzle flashes and views of the battles at sea and shore, it is clear that Pellegrin either was present or heard the story directly from a participant. What is less clear is what purpose the American, a 212-ton brig which was built in Steubens, Maine in 1833, had in these waters.

The Dominican Republic, as the Trinitarians, Had declared their independence in February from Haitian rule, which had cast off Spanish rule 17 years earlier. Taking the Haitian Flag and adding the white cross, they won the Battle of Azua on March 19, 1844. It is most likely that the American ship ended up in the wrong place at this time a month later, and as a interloper in the area of hostilities, was set upon as a prize. The nine men and their record of valor and victory in repelling the Dominicans is recorded in the inscription personally by the artist.

It is of interest to note that American interest in the region continued well through the century and beyond, with the possibility of annexation of the entire Isle of Hispaniola in the 1870s. This Greater Antilles Island is west of Puerto Rico, beyond Mona Passage, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Today the Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the Caribbean, sharing the island with the Republic of Haiti.

INSCRIBED LOWER: “Brig PANDORA James Paxton Commander, Mounted with 5 Guns and 9 Men, was attacked in the Bay of Azua by three Piratical Schnrs of 5 Guns each with 50 men. The three Schnrs hauled off with the loss of 45 men Killed and 30 Wounded the action lasted one hour and a half. (April 15th, 1844)

Antoine Roux, Jr.
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The Brig THEODORE Captured by a Corsair

This excellent narrative portrait by Antoine Roux, Jr. Shows a rare scene of the merchant brig Le Theodore, hailing from the channel port of Saint Malo in Northwestern France, heaving to and hoisting a white flag of surrender under the guns of an independent privateer while voyaging off the Canary Islands.

The work is a fine portrait of Le Theodore with the extra dimension of the corsair adding an element of drama to the painting. Privateers operated throughout the Mediterranean and along the Western coast of Africa during the period this work was completed. Roux has portrayed both vessels quite well with deck details on the brig showing the captain observing the corsair through his long glass while the ship's crew anxiously looks on.

Roux's knowledge of ship rig and sail handling emerges here with his accurate depiction of the brig's spanker being doused with a system of brails, the top gallant sails are being clewed up and the jib is coming down as the vessel prepares to be boarded. Roux watercolors such as this are considered strong historical references to accurate ship type and detail.



 
Samuel Walters
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Clipper LUCY S WILLS off the Skerries SOLD

The Medford, Massachusetts-built LUCY S. WILLS is shown on a northward journey up the Irish Sea to the port of Liverpool. Just under the clipper’s bow is Carmel Head in northwest Anglesey with the Skerries Lighthouse marking the dangerous low lying islets just offshore. A pilot schooner of the Mersey service is on the horizon, most likely putting out from Holyhead Harbor to rendezvous with the inbound vessel.

In a lively sea, the American clipper is portrayed in leeward profile with all sail set except her uppermost royals and the crojack on her mizzen. The American pilot jack is worn on the foremast calling for a pilot. Her identifying name pennant is at the main and the American ensign flies from the mizzen gaff peak. Walter’s trademark accuracy faithfully portrays the smallest details, evidenced by the ship’s prominent figurehead. LUCY S. WILLS made voyages in the Australian trade as well, arriving in Victoria in 1877.

The name of Samuel Walters is synonymous with the highest quality ship portraiture. Walters portraits of the ships of 19th Century Liverpool are considered, both historically and aesthetically, to represent some of the world’s finest examples of narrative marine painting.

Miles Walters
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GIPSEY in Three Positions Off Egremont

Liverpool’s importance as a maritime center of Western Europe shows through in this rare early portrait by Miles Walters of the merchant ship GIPSEY entering the Mersey. He completes the marine atmosphere with depictions of early steam paddle wheelers, a multitude of sailing yachts and an exceptional three-masted seacombe ferry boat, BANG-UP, with her advertisement on her sail.

The focal point, a port-side view of the GIPSEY, details the grace of her 112.6 foot length. With a 28.2 foot beam and 19.1 foot depth of hold, she was a large vessel for her day. Built in 1826 for John Tobin of Liverpool by Mottershead & Hayes, she primarily ran trade routes from England to India for more than 22 years.

Walters trademarks reside throughout this work. His intricate detail quality shows not just in GIPSEY’s three views, but throughout the busy harbor, the buildings onshore and the distant view of Perch Rock Fort off the coast at right. GIPSEY’s flags, from her decoded numeric Liverpool code at the foremast, her name pendant on the main, the yellow and blue Isle of Man standard from the mizzen, likely belonging to GIPSEY’s Captain Quirk, and the early 19th century ensign aft, are completely accurate.

Samuel Henry Wilson
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Shipping in the River Humber Off Hull, England


 
Edouard Adam, Jr.
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Portrait of S.S. PLEIADES
This painting, believed to be the work of the son, is a fine quality example of the Adams' portrait expertise. Excellent attention to detail has brought forth a superb rendering of the American merchant marine freighter S.S. Pleiades in wartime grey departing Le Havre during World War I.
Edouard Adam, Sr.
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The Blackwall Frigate ALUMBAGH At Anchor

The Blackwall frigates were the 19th century link between the lordly east Indiamen and the more modern pacific & orient passenger liners. These celebrated first class ships plied the seas from London to India and Australia. Period ship's portraits of these vessels are today hard to find and eagerly acquired by collectors of marine pictures.

Edouard Adam has skillfully portrayed the great Blackwall frigate Alumbagh during a moments rest in the french harbor of Le Havre. A capable ship, Alumbagh is noted as one of only two vessels to survive the devastating cyclone of Calcutta in 1864 which destroyed numerous ships within the harbor and river anchorages during that disastrous season.

Alumbagh was built in 1863 by Laing of Sunderland for Duncan Dunbar of London. She weighed 1138 reg. Tons and measured 190'l x 36'b x 23.8'd. She operated in the Calcutta passenger trade and was considered one of the finest of her type ever built. Adam has at once captured both her line’s beauty and an accomplished yet subtle sunset illumination to portray her in this excellent example of his work.

Anonymous Artist
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CSS ALABAMA Sinks the Whaler VIRGINIA

Near the Azores on September 17, 1862, the famous Confederate Civil War Raider C.S.S. ALABAMA captured and burned the whaling bark VIRGINIA sailing on the Atlantic Whaling Grounds, under the command of Captain Shadrach R. Tilton of New Bedford. Captain Raphael Semnes of the ALABAMA wrote in his logbook: "We waited till nightfall and the freshening wind whirled the flames high in the darkness...the scene wild and picturesque beyond description."

The Executive Officer of the ALABAMA, First Lieutenant John McIntosh Kell, noted: "To watch the leaping flames on a burning ship gives an indescribable mental excitement...but, it was always with a relief to know that the ships were "tenantless" as the disappeared in lonely grandeur, with specks of vanishing light into the Cradle of the Deep."

An original newspaper heading: "December 16, 1882 -- Leslie's Weekly, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper" can be found at the reverse of the picture.



 
Anonymous Artist
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Heading Out

More information to follow.

Anonymous Artist
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Painting on Silk of the American Ship CORNELL

A painting of the American clipper CORNELL at full sail off an unknown headland. Plaque reads: "Port Painting Circa 1870, Shipowner -- Cornell". Very finely rendered with lots of excellent detail work on the ship and sea.

Chinese School
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Barkentine LINNET off Hong Kong

This crisp Chinese export painting dates from the period around 1890. It offers a fine depiction of the harbor area beneath the prominent shape of Victoria Peak. The Chinese artist has utilized nearly a full spectrum of blues, soft in the sky to a deep indigo in the foreground sea to achieve the pleasing contrasts and highlight the ship.

The vessel depicted is the barkentine LINNET, one of several ships of that name built at Captain Marquand’s yard in Chittagong, Burma for the Asian firm of Rustomjee Cowasjee & Sons of Calcutta. As were many of the ships from this yard, the 190 ton merchant barkentine was most likely launched as an opium clipper in the late 1850's for the lucrative drug smuggling trade between India and China.

Many of these fast opium clippers later evolved into respectable merchantmen. LINNET is shown here at a later date sailing under the British flag and wearing the house flag of a more legitimate British firm at her foretop. Trailing astern as the vessel enters Hong Kong harbor is a Hong Kong pilot junk, having just placed the harbor pilot on board to bring LINNET to a safe anchorage.



 
Chinese School
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Full-Rigged British Ship Off Hong Kong

From the early 19th century and on into the 1870s with the exciting & dangerous smuggling of opium, the China trade route has been an important area in commerce. The competition between the Dutch and English, followed by America and England, for the growing tea trade contributed to a worldwide focus in the orient trade. As a result, captains commissioned talented Chinese artists to document the vessels whose reputation for speed and efficiency were breaking all records.

Through time, this school of painting has shown a very strong and continued response in the marine art market, with several factors which define this success. The first is due to the fine esthetic qualities that these works possess: traditional portraits colored with the romance of the era. Another consideration reflects the artistic accuracy and attention to detail. This was mandated by the officers who originally commissioned the works. Thirdly, the historic importance of the various ships and their connections to the greater economic and social changes they assisted in bringing about makes the work among the most highly prized of period marine art.

Frederick S. Cozzens
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RED JACKET Under Shortened Sail

Cozzens' skill at portraying almost any type of vessel helped to produce an important record of the ships of his day. Best known for his portrayals of pleasure craft and the stylish yachts owned by turn of the century American nobility, this work offers a fine view by Cozzens of one of the great merchant ships of the 19th century.

Red Jacket, at 2434.86 gross tons, was one of the largest ships of her time. Built in 1853 by George Thomas in Rockland, Maine measured 251.2 feet overall with a beam of 45.7 feet and a draft of 24 feet. She sailed for the firm of Seccomb & Taylor of Boston for most of her active career.

This example of Frederic Cozzens' skill at watercolors shows Red Jacket running under shortened sail in a choppy sea. The great rigs these vessels carried placed powerful stresses on their wooden hulls and captains often needed to exercise caution by shortening sail to avoid the ship literally coming apart under him.

Julian O. Davidson
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Near Iona Island on the Hudson

A pristine look at the challenge of pleasure cruising on New York's Hudson River is presented from the view of Julian O. Davidson. An avid mariner as well as a fine artist, Davidson frequented Hudson locations, capturing some significant early looks at the less populous regions of New York. Iona Island is one such spot, and its beauty survives today as part of a protected ecological reserve and National Natural Landmark status. It is a known nesting location of American Bald Eagles.

In Davidson's time, the island, once connected by railroad, became an excursion destination, complete with docks, a hotel, picnic grounds and an amusement park. The hill area in view is known as Courtland Hill. While most of the island is marshy, the Snake Hole Creek is a fresh water source which rises from the center of the island to flow off the southwest. Two sharp schooners are maximizing the blustery day with efficiency off the shore, and a small excursion steam pleasure vessel is on approach to the island. A luminous glow carries softly in the sky with interesting diversity to the clouds. With the prevailing conditions, it's sure the sailors are giving full attention to their ships.

The island progressed into the hands of the United States Navy in 1900, and they established an ammo depot that was in use through World War II. It became part of the Palisades Park Commission in 1965. More than 25 species of birds also nest with the Bald Eagles amongst the 405 plant species, some in woods undisturbed for centuries.



 
William Torgerson
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Yachts Racing on the Great Lakes

This work depicts three large sailing yachts, a sloop and two schooners, wearing the burgee of the Oconomowoc Yacht Club of Wisconsin. The three yachts, carrying all sail, are being trailed by one of the Great Lakes Excursion Steamers filled with spectators to view the race. Period views of the Great Lakes such as this are very hard to come by. For this reason works by Torgerson have been highly valued in the rare instances when they become available.

Henry E. Tozer
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Sidewheeler in Heavy Seas with LIGHTSHIP
Painted in gouache. Note the light ship to the stern of the sidewheeler pilot boat, heading out to aid a vessel in distress. It's nicely framed and matted. The frame is ebonized and it has a gilt liner.
Thomas Willis
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American Gaff-Rigged Cutter


 
Thomas Willis
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Steam Yacht NIAGARA

Belonging to financier and New York Yacht Club member Howard Gould, the steam yacht Niagara was a fine fixture in the bay at the turn of the century. Built in 1898 by Harland & Hollingsworth from the design of W. G. Shackford, the steel twin-screw ship was originally built as a bark, measuring 272 feet loa. Refit within her first decade without spars, sails and mizzen mast, the main was moved behind the deckhouse. Most likely Willis was directly commissioned to portray the yacht immediately, catching her in her finest condition.

The detailed embroidery, painted sky background are softly muted while the green sea is quite strong. Quite exceptional are the number of people Willis has depicted onboard, with crew members in white, while gentlemen have blue coats and white hats, and one woman in a skirt stands behind figures in reclining chairs. The Goulds, Morgans, Astors, Vanderbilts and other key members of American society all launched yachts upon which they lavishly entertained and remained in the public’s eye.

The yacht proudly flies the N.Y.Y.C. burgee, Gould’s private signal and the American ensign. She would be purchased from Gould in 1917 by the U.S. Navy and was converted into an armored patrol yacht. Her record of service includes World War I escort duty, and a decade of hydrographic work charting the Gulf of Venezuela and the coasts of Central America, retiring in 1933.

Frederick S. Cozzens
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The Clipper Ship SWEEPSTAKES
Hernando Gonzallo Villa
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A Bone In Her Teeth

More information to follow.

American Artist.



 
James Bell
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Sailor-Made, Oil on Milk Glass of S.S. TEMPLEMORE
Ron Druett
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Whalers Drying Sails

Whalers sit at dock with sails unfurled, drying them before they can be put away for their time at port in New Bedford. The artist has included detailed information on the reverse, giving us the name of each vessel and its captain during July of 1859.

Eugene Boudin
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La Seine à Mailleraye près de Quillebeuf, Normandie

Master French Impressionist Eugene Boudin was very familiar with Northern France’s Normandy coast, particularly the region known as Seine Maritime which surrounds the northern-most part of the Seine and the northwest coastline lined with beaches and resort towns facing the English Channel. Boudin lived in both Honfleur and Le Havre, cities on either side of the river at its end, and was known to have painted all over this region throughout his life.

In this remarkable image Boudin has captured an area of great natural beauty enjoyed by locals and travelers throughout French history. This land, along the Seine between Le Havre on the coast and Rouen is now a large protected area or Regional Natural Park named for the long looping turns the river takes through the area’s small villages, ancient landmarks and fertile farmlands - Boucles de la Seine.

A man in blue stands on the bank to the left, staring out at the wide expanse of the Seine at one of its dramatic turnings. Perhaps he is waiting on the approach of the small boat with several figures heading for the pylons along the shore. Behind him is a small house set amid tall trees and hedgerows, probably holly or tadpole trees, typically used by locals delineate property. Powerful symbols of Norman culture, trees also symbolized durability and even immortality in myths and legends of the area. The river's rich banks likely added to these legends, supporting acres of farms and orchards. Out on the river's deeper waters a steamship is heading north, and perhaps the small boat alongside is loading a cargo of the area's famous apples.

The painting's expansive composition, anchored by a charming pastoral scene on the near bank, allowed Boudin to display all his mature skill and artistic mastery with hallmarks of his most desired works. The sky dominates the painting with cloud formations and dramatic interplays of light and shadow. Strong coloration is applied with lively brushwork- deep blues in the distance set with warm oranges on the far shore are echoed by loose strokes and lighter shades in the nearby farm. Striking multifaceted deep greens applied with swift movement make the trees spring to life while the whole work is offset with touches of Boudin’s signature red on the boats in the distance and on one hiding set in the rushes onshore. This is an outstanding example of the artist’s work.



 
Charles Camoin
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Ramatuelle

Above the edge of the city of Ramatuelle on the Saint Tropez Peninsula, a herdsman takes in the view of the Mediterranean glory beyond the city. The medieval town his today home to the luxurious beach of Pampelonne, playground of the world’s wealthiest. In Camoin’s time, it is still primarily a small town, situated near Gassin and immortal San Tropez. The homogeneous architectural style of Spanish clay and red-tile roofs is in common use, in contrast to today’s elegant hotels and resorts.

Touches of earthy brown build the foreground hillside and feed the growth of the largest green tree that brackets the reaches of the painting. Interesting to note that the artist used a suggestive, skipping stroke here and for the rooftops he was more concerned with the geometric parallel lines and deep tones depressions between the tiles.

Deep lush foliage cuts the coastal hills and canyons in this view, and the idle sense is that the day is more relaxed and less frenzied than today’s pace. The ocean is a deep blue, the sky is lightened with clouds beyond the trees, and no one cares if the man is at leisure while the two blackish goats hit the canvas as shadowy spectres, oblivious to our watching presence. The artist strode this canyon, and found a pleasant escape for us all..

Chinese School
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Hong Kong and Victoria Peak Circa 1855

This view of Victoria Peak and the Harbor below, depicts the busy international trade in Hong Kong after the British gained control of the port in 1842. Given the presence of the flag tower atop Victoria Peak, this was painted a few years afterward, circa 1855. This and the rise of the buildings up the vertical elevation of Victoria Peak help estimate the date of the painting.

Demand for tea, spices, silks, and Chinese silver helped establish some of the largest Western and Eastern fortunes of their day. Here, a variety of steam and sailing vessels fill the harbor including a rare number of American ships: a sidewheel steamer, a steam-sail side wheeler, and a bark at anchor. Other ships include older British ships, likely being used for storage in the harbor, and a Dutch full rigged ship with sails aloft. Several local vessels travel between the foreign ships, including fishing and merchant ships along with a group of colorful Chinese junks off to the right with red banners flying, fierce eyes painted on their bows.

Behind the harbor, Hong warehouses of the United States and France are seen along the shoreline with the multistoried British offices in the grove at the base of the peak. Further left is the four pointed tower of St. John's Cathedral, still standing today. Off to the right the view expands to show the mountains extending into Guangzhou (Canton) and Guangdong province.

Sharp details rise into a subtle depiction of the sky, with excellent contrast and warm luminous touches in the clouds. Paintings like this, which depict the important Chinese harbors and the ships which visited them throughout the 19th century, are desired for both their aesthetic beauty and historical record of Hong Kong's growth and change over the centuries.

Chinese School
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Macao

The oldest European buildings in China are along the once curved crescent shore of the Praya Grande, where the Portuguese explorers established and fortified their trading foothold with an entire continent. When they arrived in 1553, the small fishing village overlooked by a temple of an ocean goddess immediately became an important cultural center of the world, with the initial interactions between the East and West. Ever since, this port loaded with temples and churches has played a role in the cosmopolitan course of world trade. (The harbor is extensively filled in and built upon today.)

In this view, more than 300 years after the Dutch established contact in the early 17th Century and western ships first sailed in the harbor, a British Sidewheel Steamer is in the port of Macao, surrounded by more than 20 Chinese vessels. The artist’s perspective, looking northwest towards the Praya Grande’s center, brings Praha Hill and its stone stairway in view, with the church on top. The inlaid stone walkway of the port city is full of human figures, one wearing a special red jacket while the rest wear blue or white. One westerner in a top hat at the stern post of the closest Chinese ship directs its crew outward bound. As a natural harbor and a point of first contact, many sailors were required to remain at Macao, while some ships would anchor and others would push on to Whampoa. Only the merchants and captains directly involved in the negotiations of buying and selling were allowed access up the river beyond Whampoa to Canton. Travel would be via local craft only. From the Chinese artists who produced port and ship paintings directly for their nautical visitors, paintings of Macao are substantially rarer than other views.



 
Anton Otto Fischer
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Pirates Giving Chase

As a young man, Anton Otto Fischer studied with famed illustrator Howard Pyle, founder of the Brandywine School of Artists. Pyle felt that great American art would likely grow from hardworking commercial illustrators, so his students were taught a strong work ethic, excellent draftsmanship and technical skills and the ability to tell a story through their art. Pyle's students, like Fischer, would go on to become some of the greatest American artists of the period, and as he predicted, to create great works of art which were also illustrations for books and magazines.

This brilliant work was likely one of the pieces Fischer originally produced for a magazine illustration and it shows all the hallmarks of a great Brandywine work: bold color and lively brushwork throughout; a luminous afternoon sky heavy with warm tones and purples; and a dramatic narrative composition. Three small sailing ships, each filled with burly pirates, approach a Spanish Galleon from the stern. The pirate Captain has ordered the men to pull in their sails and row hard to close the final lengths in order to board and attack. The large Galleon, ornate and surely loaded with treasure, is at full sail, attempting to outrun the invaders.

Pirates were a favored subject of both Pyle and famous fellow Brandywine students N.C. Wyeth and Frank Schoonover, and this painting shows a clear connection, particularly to Wyeth's pirate works, in color and composition. So distinct is the Brandywine image of pirates that it is these artists who have created our modern idea of what a Pirate looked like. With few surviving examples or drawings of actual pirate clothing, these artists created a swashbuckling style which, while likely unrealistic for a life at sea, influenced every movie pirate from Errol Flynn's Captain Blood to Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow.

Fischer kept his family going throughout the Great Depression with his talents as an illustrator, and some of his greatest works were done in this period. His illustrations were so prized that Fischer continued creating works for books and magazines even after the economy recovered, and in the 1920's and 30's created more than 400 for the Saturday Evening Post alone.

The sea was in Fischer's blood, even as a young man. At age 15, he came to America as a deck hand on a German vessel, jumping ship to sail on American ships for three years. Later in life, the skills he refined over a lifetime as an artist and his personal experience at sea, led to his commission as the U.S. Coast Guard artist laureate during WWII.

This outstanding work is the best of Fischer distilled- a man who knew the romance of the sea and ships and knew how to bring the best of seagoing adventure to life.

André Hambourg
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Venice in the Rain

“Pluie a Venice” is painted in Hambourg’s preferred palette of muted blue-green, grey, and gold with splashes of ruby red, deep blue, and emerald green. The soft colors work well for beach scenes and rainy days such as the ones portrayed in this painting. The impressionistic scene shows multiple pedestrians strolling down the boardwalk, shielding themselves from the rain with colorful umbrellas that provide pops of color and balance the overcast sky.

The background contains a three-masted ship and Piazza San Marco’s famous bell tower and Basilica. Hambourg uses the minimum number of brushstrokes necessary to portray ships, seagulls, buildings and people – as well as reflections on the glistening sidewalk. The brushstrokes in the sky have an interesting texture that is controlled yet carefree and there is heavy impasto throughout. His portrayal is both realistic and romanticized.

Hambourg was clearly influenced by the great Impressionist artists of earlier generations, perhaps none more than the one with a direct connection to his family. Hambourg’s wife, Nicole Rachet, was born into a family with a large collection of works by Impressionist master Eugene Boudin. Rachet’s grandfather was a contemporary and friend of Boudin’s, and a collector of his work. In their later years, Hambourg and Rachet donated over 300 canvases by Boudin and other artists to the Eugene Boudin Museum in Honfleur, France. It was such a large and important gift that the collection bears their names to this day.

Like Boudin, Hambourg was inspired by the changing quality of light over water, and used subtle tones to depict sea and sky, accented with pops of bright color. Any like many great Impressionists, Hambourg’s inspiration came from direct observation and a desire to elevate scenes of everyday life into extraordinary works of art. Even during his lifetime Hambourg enjoyed the distinguished reputation as the “Grand Gentleman of French Post-Impressionism.” A glance at this painting makes it easy to understand why Hambourg’s popularity is on the rise. “Pluie a Venice” is truly a superb example of his work.

Childe Hassam
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Church Point, Portsmouth

A charming watercolor created as the key illustration for the essay, “Pedaling on the Piscataqua” in the 1883 issue of the cycling enthusiast magazine, The Wheelman. This was the first and best of eight works that renowned artist Childe Hassam created for the article, spread into two parts over the April and July issues of the magazine.

The article details a three day journey made by “marine bicycle” along the Piscataqua River on the border of New Hampshire and Maine and out to the Isle of Shoals in the autumn of 1882. These hydrocycles, or “aquatic velocipedes”, were a recent innovation and impressive watercraft even for their day. Able to move forward by sail or the use of pedal-powered propellers, and capable of navigating the open ocean as well as the tricky waters of the Piscataqua around Portsmouth Harbor, rated as having one of the fastest tidal currents in North America.

Here Hassam illustrates them with the sail set as a sunshade as the cyclists pass Church Point, so named for the North Church of Portsmouth, New Hampshire whose spire is clearly visible in the background. A historic and important landmark even in Hassam’s day, the church dates to the 17th century and was spiritual home to several important Americans such as Daniel Webster and John Langdon as well as welcoming then President George Washington to services.

Rendered on toned paper with white bodycolor used to highlight the piece and give wonderful texture to the sky, Hassam created a refined design and striking composition. A series of small lateen rigged sailboats sit tied to the dock near a sailor, a fisherman and a small boy all of whom stare in wonder at the usual watercraft coming into view.

Unable to cycle on land due to poor road conditions, the author and his group married their first love of boating on the river with their new passion of cycling. Able to face forward while paddling was a great advantage over the rowboat and the upright seats lifted their riders high and dry on twin pontoons.

Masterfully rendered and styled by one of the most celebrated American artists of the period, this work embodies all the wonder and optimism of the late 19th century. Sophisticated and, for the time, modern graphic design elements are married to a fine landscape with American historic landmarks, the best of old and new. This excellent illustration brings to life both a specific journey and the zeal of 19th century adventurers for the sea and the latest innovations of the machine age.



 
Maximilien Luce
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Sandrecourt, Le Chemin au Bord de la Riviere

In the later part of Maximilien Luce’s life, he moved away from most everything that had defined him to that point. He moved to a country home in the picturesque farming community of Rolleboise, 40 miles outside Paris, and just a few miles downriver from Monet’s Giverny. Taking to the more quiet life, he became less involved in politics. In his art, he turned from the pointillist style and returned to Impressionism, painting landscapes like this one, inspired by the beauty of his new home.

Luce was in his late seventies when this was painted and in each stroke there is a love for the serenity of the landscape and of French country life. It’s as if he needed Impressionist freedom with brush strokes, to layer his brush with thick paint leaving heavy impasto touches, depicting the softness of the landscape, an idealized world free from hard edges. A fisherman walks casually along a riverside path, setting off to cast his line into the Seine. In the background we see the town of Rolleboise. The greens are lush and rich with depth. The sky moves golden to violet, reflecting the landscape and Luce’s Fauvist influences. The river rushes past with great movement, the artist’s skill showing activity yet overall calm. This is the mature hand of a master, free to express his own vision of the natural world.

The painting includes a photocopy of a handwritten letter from the artist's son, Frederic Luce, dated June 23 1965 and stamped by Reyn Gallery, Inc., New York which authenticates the painting and confirms that it is a view of Rolleboise.

Literature: J. Bouin-Luce and D. Bazetoux, "Maximilien Luce: Catalog Raisonne de l'Oeuvre Peint", vol. II, Paris, 1986, p. 531, no.2281, illustrated.

Maxime Maufra
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La Vieux Bateau, Morgat

Maufra’s depiction of this idyllic French seaside landscape is a view modern visitors would recognize more than a hundred years later. Morgat sits on the Crozon peninsula, one of three small fingers of land at the westernmost edge of Brittany, on France’s Atlantic coastline. A former fishing village, today Morgat is mainly a seaside resort, popular with French tourists and little known to outsiders. A natural cove, Morgat’s beach is a wide, curving crescent of white sand, next to clear blue waters, all set below rocky outcrops.

Walks along the coast were and are popular to explore the beach and enjoy the extraordinary beauty of the location. Perhaps the two gentlemen seen here were out to explore the multicolored sea caves for which Morgat beach is best known when they came upon the bones of a ship set upon the beach.

The artist’s work here shows multiple influences brought by travel and exposure to other artists. He studied the late work of J.M.W. Turner marrying the active brush of that artist with a love of light and impasto paint application found in the impressionist movement. Brushwork in the clouds is particularly skillful as are impasto touches which bring the rugged landscape to life. His longtime friendship with Paul Gaughin and others of the Pont Aven School, known for a vibrant color palette, clearly influenced Maufra’s rich, deep colors seen here. The thick application of paint captures the brilliant blue depth of the sea while subtle tones on the beach contrast with deep greens in the trees above.

Maufra lived in Montmartre in Paris during the period when this work was painted, surrounded by other artists and near the most important gallery for impressionist artists, Galerie Durand-Ruel. Durand-Ruel put Maufra under contract in 1896 and hosted many exhibitions of his work. However, when the artist wanted to paint he always went back to his native Brittany, painting at seaside resorts throughout the region. It is these paintings of the French coastline for which he is best known. In outstanding condition, this work typifies the best of this artist and of his period.

The final image here shows the painting from the side in low light to highlight the many areas of impasto paint application.

Francis Luis Mora
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On The Beach Valencia

This bright and brilliant work by Francis Mora depicts a way of life unique to Valencia, Spain. Beginning in the 18th Century, fishermen off the beach at Cabanyal trawl through the shallow waters near shore. Two boats paired and sailing, typically lanteen-rigged, drag nets behind and when full, return to the beach where teams of oxen pull the boats up onto the sand. Here is the moment of return- the fishermen's wives gather to welcome the boats back, collecting the fish in baskets to walk them into town, where fishmongers will hawk them shouting "Peix d'ara, viu!", Catalan for "Fish now, live!"

The tradition of Fishing with Bulls (Pesca dels Bous) was made famous by Spanish impressionist Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida. Like Sorolla, Mora embraced the Spanish artistic tradition of "costumbrismo"- the pictorial interpretation of everyday life, mannerisms, and customs, often with a romantic flavor.

It's hard to imagine a more romantic depiction of life on the Cabalyal than Mora painted in this scene. Every surface is bathed in warm light, defining the billowing sails and reflecting colors off the waves. A crowd gathers around boats on the beach while more come in, so laden with fish that their crew must jump out and push with the oxen, whose muscles tense with action. Children play in the foreground while nearby fishermen wind nets in the shallows. The colors are outstanding, particularly in sea and sky which gleam in tones of aquamarine and turquoise. It is that coloration along with excellent composition and great historical subject that put this painting at the top of the artist's output.



 
Thomas Moran
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Sunset View of the Gateway of Venice SOLD

Venice, with its natural harbor and historic architecture, has drawn artists for centuries. But it is American Master Thomas Moran who brought the city to its greatest heights. His most prized scenes are inspired with a luminosity and technique unsurpassed, arguably even by the hand of J.M.W. Turner, who so influenced him.

Moran painted Venice for many years, and in this vibrant and masterful work captures the interplay of light and water that’s evident in every stroke. The sky comes alive with lively brushwork that sets the afternoon clouds aflame with deep red tones over a base of vibrant blue. Impasto touches of pure color fill the foreground with ships and figures.

Moran likely sketched for this painting from shores of San Giorgio Maggiori. This spectacular view became a favorite of the artist, the scene he called the "Gate of Venice"; showing the mouth of the Grand Canal as it passes between Santa Maria della Salute on the left and the Piazza de San Marco on the right. The Salute is almost in silhouette, bathed in warm red light along with the many sailing ships at dock. On the right, the sun reflects off the pale stone landmarks of St. Mark’s Square with the spire of the Campanile rising above the Doge's Palace.

Standing before this view of the romantic city, a young couple is highlighted on one of the moored vessels in the foreground. He stands proudly in deep blue and she in a fine dress, holding flowers. His arm is draped over her shoulders and she leans in to the embrace. Were they just married in the nearby Basilica? Or maybe they took their vows on the boat itself, the deck decorated with rich fabrics while onlookers watch from nearby vessels, their brightly colored sails adding even more to the festive scene.

A marriage on Venice’s lagoon would be particularly significant, mirroring the city’s annual “Marriage to the Sea” ceremony. Started in the year 1177 and performed to this day, each year Venice is symbolically married to the waters surrounding it, reaffirming that Venice and the sea are “indissolubly one”. Moran too clearly understood this vital relationship, nodding to it by including the practical vignette on the left, where a second group of people pull in and repair fishing nets, seemingly oblivious to the celebration nearby. Moran rarely featured figures so prominently in his Venice paintings.

Thomas Moran was indisputably one of America's most influential and visionary artists with his work celebrated and collected during his own lifetime. Moran's Venice scenes were the most prized by collectors, selling for up to $5000 each, a very high price for the time. It is believed that he made around 100 images of the city.

This painting was also published as a print by Brown & Bigelow, made in limited edition and signed in pencil by the artist. Very few of Moran’s works were made into prints and the selection of this work is an indication of its superior status among his Venice works. Moran is even more prized today, and this painting that captures the romance of Venice would be a highlight of any collection.

This painting will be included in Stephen L. Good's and Phyllis Braff's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.

B.J.O. Nordfeldt
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School of Fish

A school of silver fish glides through the ocean’s depths in this bold piece of expressionist mastery by B.J.O. Nordfeldt. This painting bears all the hallmarks of Nordfeldt’s best period, late in his career- marine subject matter, strong energetic brushwork and rich hues applied in broad strokes of dry color.

Marine subjects had been a staple of the artist’s work, but in this period he reinterpreted these ideas in a more pared down style with repeated elements, the better to express movement and, as he put it, “the feeling of depth, weight, volume and force” of the sea.


“I was considering what was the most fundamental thing in painting and I believe that it is abstract form. That is the structure of the idea-bones—not the infernal likeness but just the absolute shapes that would give the emotional part.” - B.J.O. Nordfeldt


Compositionally, Nordfeldt’s goal was a balance between nature and a direct and visceral experience of art, the better to express the grandeur and mystery of nature. Nordfeldt used abstraction but felt it was important to tie his forms to reality. As he put it, “there must be a recognition element to serve as a bridge between abstract form and the beholder” pulling the viewer into the work, in this case, to contemplate the cool depths and complex life below the waves.


"In order to get fluidity one has to have the opposing static— hence sea and rocks or fish — all these arranged into a rhythmic sequence and adjusted to the shape of the canvas, since the canvas is the first abstraction." - B.J.O. Nordfeldt


Nordfeldt took these expressions further in his use of color. Finding his greatest inspiration in the technique of French master Paul Cézanne, Nordfeldt created almost sculptural forms through the use of bold outlines and a palette of intense color applied in sections with minimal blending, allowing the artist to unite figures and landscape.

In “School of Fish”, this reach for unity blends elements of land and ocean- as the colors and shapes reflect crystalline structures and precious stones found in the earth- sapphire, emerald, amethyst, obsidian, platinum and silver. The application of paint along distinct parallel lines is unexpected under the sea, and is reinforced with the use of sgraffito lines in the rockwork all adding power and vitality to the setting.

Reviewing Nordfeldt’s late work, New York Times critic, Howard Devree said it was, “packed with vigor and explosive emotional intensity”, which is clearly on display in this painting. A culmination of a life’s work in art, this is a work which exemplifies the best of Nordfeldt’s passions and techniques.

Millard Sheets
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Honolulu Arrival in Pan Am China Clipper

Flying boats dominated the early international service in passenger air travel. In the 1920's and 30's, few runways existed that could land large aircraft yet for most international routes it was necessary to find several cities along the way where a plane could stop for the night. Aircraft of the period couldn't reach the altitudes of today's passenger aircraft, maxing out airspeed at about 200mph and frequent stops were needed to refuel. The answer was the float plane which could land in any sheltered harbor, a particular benefit for crossing the Pacific Ocean to Asia. It was the Martin Ocean Transport or M130 aircraft, illustrated here by Millard Sheets, that would make it a reality.

Pan American Airlines founder Juan Trippe was keen that his company be the first to launch a trans-Pacific passenger air service. As the unofficial United States flag carrier or national airline, Pan Am was seen as representing America to the world and the company's role in opening up international air trade routes was vital to U.S. national interests.

Trippe sent his requirements for range and payload to the Glenn L. Martin Company in Baltimore, Maryland who designed and built three M-130 flying boats, each costing $417,000 (about $7.3M in today's dollars). To the public, these ships were the "China Clippers", a name that became a generic term for Pan Am's large flying boats– first the Martin M-130 and the later Sikorsky S-42 and Boeing 314.

Trippe named all Pan Am's international aircraft "Clippers" linking them to the maritime heritage of the 19th century clipper ships who once carried cargo and passengers across the sea. Crews of the "Clippers" wore naval-style uniforms and adopted a set procession when boarding the aircraft. Trippe himself was a U.S. Navy pilot and was great-great-grandson of U.S. Naval Lieutenant John Trippe, Captain of the 1803 schooner U.S.S. Vixen and fought in the First Barbary War.

Pan Am's Clippers were the most famous flying boats to take to the skies. Pan Am initiated trans-Pacific airmail service on 22 November 1935, and began carrying passengers in October 1936. The flying boat service between San Francisco Bay and Manila Bay required about 60 hours of flying time over six days, with intermediate stops at Honolulu, Midway Atoll, Wake Island and Guam.

Given the monumental importance to American business and technological innovation it's easy to see why Fortune Magazine chose to feature Pan Am, Trippe and the new tran-Pacific air route in their April 1936 issue. A multi-page spread features many photos of the M-130 aircraft, ports of call, Pan Am's executives and some great watercolor illustrations including this work by Millard Sheets.

This is the best of three watercolor paintings Sheets did for the article, and shows the China Clipper landing at Pan Am's air base in Honolulu. While many today are familiar with what it looks like to fly into Hawaii's paradise landscape, few were fortunate enough to do so in the 30's. Sheets portrait is of dark volcanic peaks surrounded by lush tropical greenery all next to a crystal blue ocean. The illustration must have tempted many of the elite able to afford the trip, and perhaps this idyllic view made the multiple stops on Pacific islands more glamorous and exciting.

Sheet's depiction of the aircraft was masterful. Light touches of shading and spare line work define the plane's graceful structure. An innovation of the M-130 was the use of fuselage mounted seawings or sponsons rather than the more typical wing-mounted floats or pontoons. This gave the plane greater stability and allowed it to float higher in the water. It also gave the aircraft a refined sloping silhouette that the artist captures perfectly, making the plane appear to float lightly over the sea.

The M-130 could carry 46 passengers in daytime configuration, but in its more typical overnight service it provided sleeping accommodations for up to 30 passengers in three 10-berth compartments, with a 16-seat dining room/lounge compartment located amidships. The article also included detailed diagrams of the M-130's interiors along with photos of Pan Am's Clipper flight crews in action.

The inauguration of ocean airmail service and commercial air flight across the Pacific was a significant event for California, the US and the world. The China Clipper departure point is a California Historical Landmark, located in what today is the Naval Air Station in Alameda.

The China Clippers were featured in several 1930's films including one that was a thinly disguised version of Juan Trippe's life story and the founding of Pan Am. Only three M-130 aircraft were ever made. Two survived to be used by the US Military in WWII, though by the war's end all three were no longer in service.

This painting is a great piece of aviation history showing a vital chapter in the growth of international travel.

We were fortunate to find an original of the April 1936 Fortune Magazine in which this painting appeared. The magazine will be included in the purchase of the painting.



 
Warren Sheppard
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Reflective Sunrise

The striking, soft light that is characteristic of the hour after sunrise or before sunset is so coveted by cinematographers that they refer to it as “magic hour.” When the sun is present at that time of day, as it is in this painting, the sky appears rose colored; shadows are less harsh and highlights are less glaring and bright.

The soft light of magic hour creates a tranquil feeling that Luminist painters, like Warren Sheppard, strove to capture with delicate brushstrokes that draw attention to the subject, not themselves. A striking feature of this painting is the reflection of the sun on the shore and the way the light shimmers at varying intensities, depending on how the canvas is lit. It’s a truly impressive painting that is impossible to duplicate in a photograph.

The warm glow of the sun on the shore is masterfully depicted in coral, gold, and a bit of blue. The seas are calm and the sky is soft and hazy. The painting creates a portal to the ocean and the relaxation that comes from a leisurely stroll at dawn or dusk amidst breathtaking views. It’s easy to understand why seascapes are the most coveted of Warren Sheppard’s works. This painting has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.

Francis A. Silva
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Strolling Along the Bluff at Long Branch

People at leisure along the shoreline is a universal subject, and Francis Silva found it to be popular in his day. These works have become fixtures in a diverse range of American art collections, featured for their sheer beauty as well as the significance of the early luminist painter. In this superior example, numerous folks in Victorian finery stroll the shore of Long Branch, New Jersey. Our lead couple walk arm-in-arm, and parasols are apparent everywhere. An American flag tops a coastal station, and distant sails spot the horizon.

Silva’s vision in the diminutive composition emphasizes the long stretch of open beach and Atlantic Ocean. The relaxing beauty makes it easy to see why America’s first film industry established in Long Branch, and seven presidents, from Ulysses S. Grant to the unfortunate James Garfield chose to vacation, or in Garfield’s case, convalesce here, inspiring the city’s famous Seven Presidents Park. Among Long Branch’s most renown citizens, Dorothy Parker and Bruce Springsteen were born and inspired by the seashore community.

The work is a harmony of color and light, with a bygone charm that today seems so simple, but in its day was the premier destination, drawing artist Winslow Homer in 1869 to paint Victorian women strolling its environs. Silva would find his place alongside him with works such as this.

Franz Richard Unterberger
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Santa Maria Della Salute with Gondoliers on the Grand Canal

Spectacular light with radiating splashes of orange and pink tones in the sky cast a bright illumination over a serene Venetian afternoon on the Grand Canal. The majesty of the Santa Maria della Salute rises as the backstop to several gondoliers going about their daily business. Two ladies enjoy the leisurely pace of the foremost gondolier, all captured with the brushes and artistic vision of Franz Unterberger.

Unterberger layers levels of detail over the vast expanse of waterway, with graduated reflections visually echoing his subjects. Numerous ships are at a distance, from a large, anchored schooner yacht, Mediterranean local vessels with their bright patterned sails, and the multitude of gondolas, all with targeted destinations. The two domes and two bell towers of the Salute rise over the main octagon constructed to honor the Virgin Mary forward from the 1630s. Consecrated in 1681, it was built primarily of Istrian stone and bricks coated with marble dust, set on top of 1 million wooden constructed palettes; the most recognized landmark of the Italian City-State. Two other church domes are in view. Unterberger frequently traveled to Venice for more than 30 years, and painted its beautiful settings to perfection.



 
Franz Richard Unterberger
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Venice Under Sunset

An elegant composition capturing a late afternoon slice of life in Venice of well-dressed people walking the quayside promenade, their lifestyles in contrast to the gondoliers, women with baskets of fish and others plying their trades on the waterways of Venice. The stone boardwalk is active with water fowl as well as people, and they are all enjoying the day’s beauty, especially the small child wearing a light blue sash. Unterberger captures the setting light radiating splashes of golden yellow and warm pink tones in the sky to cast a bright illumination over a serene moment. The artist has used a pallette knife to flatten portions of the background sky, with it creating a very unusual method of relating depth and distance. The closer subjects, including the majestic Santa Maria della Salute, are painted on top of the sky layer.

Unterberger didn’t look past the presence of ships, one with a lanteen rig employing a red-and-white sail prominent amongst scattered others. Several gondoliers are just launching, while a large luxury steam yacht begins to get underway before the architectural grandeur across the channel. The finely dressed walkers with top-hats, shawls and umbrellas in view in significant numbers make a nice contrast with the emerging foliage starting to over reach the estate walls. A very nice summery scene of a late afternoon in Venice.

Henry Bacon
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Dreaming Anew

Pensive in thought sitting at a wood-slat stern bench of a departing vessel in New York Harbor, the prominent grandeur of the Statue of Liberty recently passed, a woman and her loyal dog set out on their ocean adventure. Nestled in among bouquets of flowers, she sits, one glove off contemplating the coming voyage. London? Paris? New Orleans? The destination is decided in her mind and imagination, but we know it not. Such romantic ship-board human subjects are the best works by Henry Bacon, and command his highest values.

It is interesting to look upon the care Bacon placed with the technical representation of the ship’s hardware. Parallel rail lines run against the strong vertical lifeboat davit, the weave of the rope securing the life-ring preserver to the outside face. Sensibly yet classically dressed in darker tones, her apparel echoes the last decades of the 19th Century, and the flower bloom in her blouse speaks to a sentimental attachment from someone wishing her well on her voyage.

The bright, colorful flowers add to the joy of the scene, with the haze of the harbor atmosphere and the subdued sense of the trip just getting underway. Another Steam/Sail passenger ship trails in this vessel’s wake, slicing the expanse of New York’s Inner Harbor on the way to the open Atlantic. The composition creates a longing to know the rest of her story.

Alfred Thompson Bricher
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The Open Coast

An excellent work showing the precision frequently present in his oils, Bricher brings forth similar ships of different scale. Focusing on sailing subjects, he presents an accomplished overview of a vast distance of this Northeast Coast anchorage. An expanse of clouds fill the sky, offering light variation over the promontory headland, and his brush application suggests wood textures and deep color for the hulls, the largest resting on bottom with the tide.

The unusual presentation, for a Bricher painting, of a foreground composition with well-defined vessels enhances the work’s appeal. Note the paced variation of diminutive waves rolling shoreward across the translucent water with accents of sunlight. A lone figure stands along the smaller starboard cabin. One must wonder what’s in hand- an anchor line, a fishing pole or perhaps a drift net- at the end of the rope.

Bricher, as this canvas attests, helped define the luminous school that was fundamentally devoted to displays of light and air. He strongly influenced American marine painting and helped produce some of its finest moments. Working primarily in the Boston area and later in New York, he traveled nearly every summer up the Northeast Coast looking for the seasonal qualities of light he desired, and that his art is now much in demand for depicting.



 
Chinese School
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View of the Hongs, Canton

Sought by collectors worldwide, art and artifacts showing an early western presence in the Orient boomed with the opening of the China Trade by way of the sailing ship. The surviving paintings which capture the important Chinese harbors of the 18th and 19th Centuries with western merchants are at the top of such a list of desirable items.

Showing the American, British and Danish flags over their respective factory houses, the Pearl River traffic bustles beneath the shore of Canton city’s edge. Foreign merchants and captains had to anchor off Whampoa, down the river, and travel by junk, sampan or other transport operated by the local mariners, using a wide variety of propulsion, as shown. No firearms, women and very few average crewmen were allowed to travel upriver to Canton. Though all seemed to make their way upriver anyway, if in secret.

This example, showing great coloration and detail, represents the height of the international tea trade and the period of record sailings by the clipper ships. No less than forty people occupy the many vessels on the river, all playing a part in the vast trade.

A large decorated cruising barge floats in the background as musicians play traditional Chinese instruments accompanied by a singer, likely serenading guests with popular selections from Peking-style operas. An important looking official stands on the high rear deck of his ship as many oars propel him forward. A fisherman’s single oar craft overloaded with fish, navigates through the larger ships, making his way to sell the catch.

Note the shoreline’s wealth of trees and foliage between the hongs and river, mostly planted in the 1840s by an American indemnity fund company. At this point, there is even a Western church before the British factory, at the end of Hog’s Road, which was built in 1847. A second great Canton fire in 1856 destroyed most of this area, and it was never fully rebuilt. Paintings like this form an important and historic record of a time and way of life now lost to history.

Set in its original gilt Chinese Chippendale frame.

Ramon Dilley
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La Swann, l'ete, du Cote des Cures Marines

This delightful composition lays out a picturesque scene of the French seaside resort of Deauville including beautiful ladies attired in the fashion of the day, a serene locale and sporting pastimes including sailing and horseback riding along the sand.

A fashionable woman in dove grey sits below a striped umbrella, staring intently into the unseen interior of the tent. Another in period bathing costume stretches in a lithe pose, perhaps preparing for a swim. A third woman just out of view stands on a small boardwalk into the sand. But the main focus is La Swann, the tall figure at the center of the painting in a form fitting gown of pale pink with matching parasol, offset with deep blue gloves. She is elegant, standing off the sand next to bright blossoms along a fence, gazing quietly out at the sea. In the distance, we see the spa with French flag which gives us the “cure marines” of the title. It is thought that the medicinal use of sea water, products of the sea and the coastal climate, also known as Thalassotherapy, originated in the seaside towns of France in the 19th century.

Detailed, active and with fine fauvist detail, the composition and technique recalls works by famed artists Kees van Dongan and Jean Pierre Cassigneul. This work has all the hallmarks of the best of Dilley’s style. Given Dilley’s talent, his choice of subject matter and the desire for this style of post-impressionism, Dilley will be an artist to watch for and collect in the years to come.

Francois Gall
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A Day at the Beach

This work holds an interesting blend of people enjoying beach-side leisure as painted by artist Francois Gall. Done in an artistic spirit harkening back to Eugene Boudin and other famous 19th Century Impressionists, Gall also imbues some unique elements within his bathing homage to those who came before him. Foremost, a woman undresses to reveal more skin and an animal-print racer back bathing suit that would have been en vogue right in the 1940s period the painting was created. Around her, the style of the beach-goers and tents are harmonious with late 19th and early 20th Century fashion.

An interesting clue to Gall’s world vision may exist with the two children playing in the sand at the left foreground, a mound created with a prominent blue-white-red French national flag inserted into its shape. Is this possibly a nationalist French scene, and Gall is transporting viewers back to a simpler time? Several bathers prep and change among the striped beach tents and others are in rather formal Sunday-best outfits, including a young woman working her braid in the center foreground. The combination of highly desirable subjects of people at leisure at the ocean-side with Gall’s excellent artistic talent makes this a top work.

A bit of pier is visible at a distance, and the harbor appears to have a significant width, so it is possibly Douranenez or another western-facing Brittany Coast location. The wet sand closer to the surfline shows a gentle slope, and the suggestion of sails on the water exist to various degrees. The colorful setting and fabrics are even more amplified by the graduations of gray clouds, very much in homage to Boudin’s best paintings.



 
Duncan Gleason
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Fighting Ladies of 1815

Throughout the history of travel and trade by sea the threat of piracy has been a constant plague to sailors around the world. For European merchants, the coast of North Africa was a hotbed of pirate activity for centuries. At minimum pirates would demand tribute for passage through these waters- at worst cargoes and ships were stolen and crews taken for ransom or as slaves. It’s estimated that more than a million Europeans were captured and taken as slaves just between 1530 and 1780- including ships from the British Colonies in America.

Eventually known as the Barbary States, the coastal city states of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers were central ports for pirates, each with a thriving European slave trade. While under British rule, the American Colonies were under the protection of a British Treaty with these ports, but once America became independent, it was open season on American ships once again.

Deeply in debt after the Revolutionary War, the US Government was unable even to afford to maintain warships and the Continental Navy was disbanded and all ships were sold. With no defense or threat of retaliation American ships were attacked with impunity. It was this rise of Barbary piracy that drove Congress in 1794 to allocate funds for six new frigates whose first job would be to attack pirate fortifications in North Africa and thus the United States Navy was born.

The First Barbary War (1801-1805) resulted in President Thomas Jefferson obtaining concessions of fair passage from local rulers and ships were safe for a time. In the following years, the U.S. was drawn into conflict with Great Britain over trade with France, leading to the War of 1812. Meanwhile in 1803, French leader Napoleon I began attacks on European neighbors that would lead to the Napoleonic Wars, raging on until 1815. Knowing that American and European Naval forces were distracted with various wars, the Barbary Pirates slowly restarted their business of ransom and plunder.

With the end of the War of 1812 America refocused on its pirate problem. On March 3rd 1815, the U.S. Congress authorized deployment of naval power against Algiers, and two squadrons were readied for war.

On May 20th, 1815 the first squadron departed New York harbor under the command of Commodore Stephen Decatur- the flagship USS GUERRIERE of 44 guns, the USS CONSTELLATION of 36 guns and the USS MACEDONIAN of 38 guns along with seven smaller warships- Sloops of War EPERVIER and ONTARIO, Brigs FIREFLY, SPARK and FLAMBEAU and Schooners TORCH and SPITFIRE.

It’s easy to see why Duncan Gleason was drawn to depict this proud fleet as they sailed into what would be a decisive and important victory in American history. Decatur’s squadron was a combination of new ships, one of the original six U.S. Naval Frigates (CONSTELLATION) and vessels captured during the previous war- representing the hopes, struggles and victories of the young nation. That bright optimism and spirit comes through in brilliant and warm sunlight across the sea and sky, all in Gleason’s trademark warm color palette. With full sails, the ships charge forward in a strong wind cutting though an active sea, all superbly rendered with great luminism and fine brushwork.

As for Algiers, the deployment of the second squadron wasn’t even necessary. Decatur and his fleet quickly captured two Algerian warships including their flagship MESHUDA and sailed on to the Bay of Algiers where on July 3rd, 1815 under the threat of an all-out assault the Dey (ruler) of Algiers signed a treaty granting the United States full shipping rights in the Mediterranean Sea.

In one step Decatur not only negotiated a treaty very favorable to the United States but further legitimized the American government and power in the world. It would take Great Britain another year to negotiate such a treaty for themselves.

These battles in what came to be known as the Second Barbary War would further cement Decatur’s fame, making him a national hero in his own lifetime and a legend as one of the greatest Naval officers in American history. Gleason has brought this fleet to life in almost allegorical splendor, showing how these early pioneering vessels would go on to inspire generations of the American Navy.

Mauritz F.H. de Haas
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Daybreak on the East Coast

Luminous morning coloration radiates the cloud-covered skies in this fine painting by Mauritz De Haas, warming the day’s beginning for numerous mariners who started with the dawn. Every manner of ship propulsion is visible, from the stalwart sidewheeler steaming through a multitude of sailing ships to the rowed craft of the fishermen in the foreground water. Viewed from an elevated shore position, the amount of nautical traffic and the direction of the rising sun suggests a south facing shore along Cape Cod, perhaps Hyannis, or the outer shores of Long Island near Southampton.

The sky glows with a range of warm oranges, pinks and yellows, with the clouds blushing from the soft morning light to their dark edges where they are thickly layered. Sky breaks show the brilliant turquoise blue of the brightening day, and the sails of large cutter and schooner glow forth in the sun’s light. In contrast, the ocean is a thick deep green, with brown depths and flashes of red next the white streaks in interesting blends.

Nice additional touches include the anchor incorporated into the artist’s signature between his name and the date, and the wonderful original American frame with its restored gilt full of floral carving and engraved motifs. This outstanding composition needs only the luminosity created by the color and light of the artist’s vision and brushes to enrich any surroundings. The ability to depict these light qualities is what De Haas is best known for.

Camille Hilaire
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Trouville SOLD

One of the first coastal resorts in France, Trouville has attracted writers and artists since the early 19th century. Claude Monet, Eugène Boudin, Claude Pissarro, Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, and Gustave Caillebotte all painted on the long, sandy beaches at Trouville and its neighbor Deauville on either side of the River Touques. While both towns feature glamorous resorts and villas, Trouville is seen by some as more charming, retaining its fishing village feel while also becoming a vibrant port city.

Even in Napoleon's time, the rich and fashionable flocked to this "Queen of Beaches", enjoying the sea by day and grand palaces of entertainment by night. Elegant ladies and gentlemen stroll along Les Planches, the long, wooden boardwalk along the beach.

In this work, Camile Hilaire depicts a brilliant summer day on Trouville's famous beach. The city's signature umbrella tents frame the scene. At center, four women recline- two facing the boardwalk, out of view, and two looking out to the sea, rich with deep translucent blues and greens and dotted with sailboats. Typical of the artist there is some Cubist structure here, but overlaid with soft curving forms. The overall effect is dramatic while retaining a subtle ease. Bold, rich color masterfully conveys light and shadow. Overall an excellent example of the artist's work.



 
Industrial Arts Trade School-Arles, France
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Cunard-White Star Lines R.M.S. QUEEN MARY and Moet Chandon Original Advertising Art

Since the dawn of advertising luxury brands have sought partnerships to increase their cache among clientele. In 1912 champagne maker Moet & Chandon was set to do so with the White Star Line and their new ships OLYMPIC and TITANIC. The match was nearly obvious due a naming coincidence. Moet had been producing dry champagne under the label White Star since 1865; and it was their flagship imprint in the U.S. for over a century.

The White Star line started even earlier, in 1845. Though TITANIC’s fate would briefly interfere, the companies did associate and Moet’s White Star champagne was served aboard White Star Liners for many years and later also Cunard White Star Ships like QUEEN MARY.

In this outstanding and colorful portrait, the QUEEN MARY sails toward a bottle of Moet & Chandon White Star Champagne which floats in the water. The painting is nearly complete, with only pieces of text remaining to fill in. At the top the banner reads, “Cunard WHITE STAR LINE- The Only Choice for the Discerning Traveller”. Below, the usual transatlantic route is listed - “Southampton, Cherbourg, New York”.

QUEEN MARY represented a turning point in the history of ocean liners. The Great Depression along with change in U.S. immigration quotas greatly decreased the number of passengers crossing the Atlantic. Former giants of U.K. shipping Cunard and White Star were nearing financial disaster in 1934 when future British PM, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Neville Chamberlin proposed the two companies merge, retire older ships in both fleets and together build a new liner with modern technology, design and comfort. If agreed, the British Government would give the new company a loan of £3 million towards the new ship – which would become the QUEEN MARY.

The new ship formally launched from John Brown’s yard at Clydebank September 26, 1934 with her namesake monarch presiding at the event. Completely fitted out by the spring of 1936, she steamed into service to Southampton on March 27, 1936 with much fanfare and several tugboat escorts. She would go on to become a Blue Riband liner that year as the fastest passenger liner to cross the Atlantic. She would claim the title again in 1938.

QUEEN MARY would make 1,002 voyages in her 31-year career, traveling 3,795,000 miles, transporting 2,115,000 fare-paying passengers. At start of WWII, she was converted to a troop transport and carried more than 800,000 British, Australian and American troops. She would go back to passenger service after the war, but with air travel on the rise, she would leave Southampton for the last time on October 31, 1967 on a farewell five week tour that would take the ship around Cape Horn to her new home, permanent mooring in Long Beach, California- where she remains today as an event venue, hotel and museum.

The QUEEN MARY is one of only four ocean liners made before WWII still in existence worldwide. A floating landmark, the ship is a living monument to the refined era of transatlantic travel and what once represented the finest in luxury experience.

Reynolds Beal
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Narragansett Bay & Newport, Rhode Island 1902

If a more storied port that Newport, Rhode Island exists on the American seaboard, it will have a tough time proving it. Even the vaunted ports of New York and San Francisco pale to match the activities of Newport in terms of historic longevity and sheer variety of use. History records its establishment in 1639 when Warren Coddington set out from Portsmouth to start his own settlement. Provincetown artist Reynolds Beal shows the harbor’s mature grandeur and diversity in the remarkable impressionist painting, with its view of the harbor from the Warwick Headland breakwater.

Superb with his trademark colorful vibrancy, Beal shows a turn-of-the-century square-rigged sailing ship accompanied by several sailing yachts and a schooner running upon the water. The foreground rolling waves meet the natural breakers to elevate the work. An expanse of cumulus clouds complete the imagery of this vast vista.

Landmarks confirm the location of this work combined with the unique visual geography. The dominant structure is Fort Adams, located on the Brenton Cove Peninsula. The fort is one of the largest seacoast fortifications on the east coast, covering more than 23 acres. Built in the 1820s, the main battery housed the U.S. Naval Academy during the Civil War. Under its protective presence, six yacht clubs operate in the harbor, including the Newport Yacht Club, the New York Yacht Club, the U.S. Naval Yacht Club and the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, named after the harbor’s famed lifesaver of lime rock lighthouse.

Conrad Wise Chapman
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The Beach at Trouville

Sensations of walking barefoot through cold, wet sand on a hot summer day are not to be taken for granted. After fighting in the American Civil War just years prior, Conrad Wise Chapman held this thought or a like one for many years. He celebrated his worldwide journeys with small panoramic paintings which feature people at leisure in their natural surroundings. The gray skies of the coast of France are famous over the globe, and for a handful of years after 1867, Chapman reveled in their cool presence.

The period dress of the well-to-do middle class is observed in the women sitting on wooden, four-legged chairs at the beach, watching the couple who are holding hands in the surf and the smallish manned sailing skiffs about their business. Flagged anchorage poles line the edge of the shelf, so inbound boats make find their marks. Some others frolic is the ocean as well. In the great distance, a large sailing ship and a steamer make for the headland ports across from the Normandy’s Côte Fleurie (Floral Coast). Chapman’s beach scenes of Trouville and nearby Deauville achieved his widest recognition for their fine aesthetic quality within his lifetime career. They are similar to the most important paintings of Eugene Boudin of people at the beach in this very same period.



 
Alson Skinner Clark
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Santa Monica Summer SOLD

A consummate professional artist, Clark took great care to enjoy his life with his wife and son, Alson Jr. Extremely well traveled, and maintaining a residence in Paris, he settled into California to recover from an injury to his hearing in World War I. In this last quarter century he blended epic historic murals for the Los Angeles Cathay Circle Theater and the Pasadena Playhouse, with beautiful local scenes Clark discovered and caught with oil on canvas. Here he has locked in a precious view of the beach goers of Santa Monica.

The summer activity is in full swing, as far as the middle season may last nine months or more in California. The vast sea of beach umbrellas and the field of colors they cast drew Clark to linger and paint. Quite interesting choice is his semi-isolation, southside near the pier’s decaying underbelly with the tire inner-tube rental business languishing along with the rest. Bathers idly spend the day, with the Santa Monica Mountain to the north spanning from Topanga to Malibu and Point Dume in contrast to the hot clean California sand under Clark’s feet. While he painted many California scenes, they very rarely ever come out of private collections onto the art market.

Gustave Courbet
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La Cote du Mer SOLD

This painting is attributed to Gustave Courbet, and although listed as a collaboration in Jean Fernier’s forthcoming catalogue raissoné supplement of the artist’s work, it is our opinion that this painting is pure Courbet with possibly some assistance by Louis Augustin Augin who was, at the time it was painted, a student of Courbet in the region of Saintonge. The masterful technique used to portray the sky, sea and sand as well as the coloration in the rocks strongly suggests Courbet’s touch.

In a simple composition (also a Courbet trait) believed to be the coastline near the village of Royan, Courbet would have quite possibly been offering an example to his student and helper of how to capture the beautiful austerity of nature. Courbet’s brilliant use of thick layers of paint applied with a palette knife is another of the traits quite evident in this work.

The quality of this painting is in keeping with other examples by this important Barbizon artist. The wonderful balance of the dramatically colored sea beneath the soft clouds is bisected by the tall rocks that divide the view. It shows Courbet painting “things as they really are” the guiding principal in his work that marked his greatness.

Jack L. Gray
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Fishing Off New Harbour, Nova Scotia

Dories were a common theme in Jack L. Gray’s work, as was the life of fishermen along the northeastern coast of North America. In 1947, after two years of study at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Gray left the school and went on sketching trips alone and with former classmate and fellow artist Joseph Purcell. During the summer of 1947 the two artists rented the loft of a fish store at New Harbour, Nova Scotia and made many drawings and paintings of the area.

In this scene fishermen hang their nets to dry behind riverside fishing shacks. Barrels and boxes lie ready to receive the catch, while the colorful dories sit tied just offshore. As a fisherman himself, Gray surely knew many such afternoons where after the catch was in, the fisherman could sit on a dock in the sun and maintain the tools of their trade.

Gray’s stirring depictions of maritime life are regularly sought after throughout the USA and Canada and can often exceed expectations when they are up for public sale and auctions.



 
Richard Hayley Lever
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U.S. Battleships Down the Hudson

A very important moment of history for the United States Navy, the assembled mass of naval might is on formal review by President William Howard Taft and his Secretary of the Navy while on progress down the Hudson River into New York Harbor. The last of the Armed Cruiser Class met the first of the American Dreadnaught Battleships, U.S.S. ARKANSAS and WYOMING, on this epic occasion on October 14, 1912. More than 100 navy vessels from auxiliary ships to the largest of battleships were on display.

President Taft, a huge man prone to be somewhat reactionary in his decisions, if history in hindsight is allowed to make such judgements, was impressed with the direction of the country’s naval growth. He inherited the policies of President Theodore Roosevelt, and expanded the American presence throughout the hemisphere. In the midst of having decided not to campaign against Roosevelt and eventual winner Woodrow Wilson, President Taft chose to go aboard ARKANSAS (BB-33) and cruise to inspect the newly begun canal zone in Panama.

Showing his unique artistic style, Hayley Lever made a sensational impact in New York City starting in 1911 with his interpretive Post-Impressionism of such aggressive texture, brushwork and coloration. On hand to witness this epic moment, the New York Times wrote that the event was “the greatest assemblage of naval strength ever assembled.”

Gustave Loiseau
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L’Avant Port de Fécamp SOLD

The elemental beauty of this vibrant cityscape by French post-impressionist Gustave Loiseau is created with several components of his signature style. The blend of foliage and the coursing river of shows the predominance of the inhabitants of the French Brittany Coast for structuring their cities around the local waterways. At this coastal harbor entrance to the important port of Fécamp, halfway between Dieppe and Le Havre.

The impasto texture on this canvas is fascinating to explore. Rich with elements both architectural and human, especially the stretched promenade full of walking travelers along the waterway, Loiseau has chosen a nearly impossible to view high perspective over the city - from a hot-air balloon perhaps?- to look down on the alternating rooftops and challenge the heights of the swirling, ethereal clouds.

While he is first and foremost a French artist, Loiseau found international success during his lifetime, and continues to be popular with discriminating collectors of the best works from the Post-Impressionist era.

This painting was acquired directly from the artist in the year it was painted by Paul Durand-Ruel, the champion of the Impressionists and the most important Parisian art dealer of the Impressionist era. The provenance of the present work links it directly to the personal collection of the Durand-Ruel family, as it has remained in their collection since it was painted. The personal collection of Durand-Ruel contained masterpieces by all of the key members of the Impressionist group, including Cassatt, Degas, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Sisley, as well as numerous works by many other artists that he represented or admired.

William Edward Norton
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On the Coast of Holland, Fishing Boat Ready for Sea

An interesting homage to the issue of rank amongst the crews and officers of all vessels, a captain is carried to his ready command by one of his subordinates through the ocean surf in this coastal scene by William Edward Norton. It is along the Dutch Coast, as is recorded by the artist himself with an old label verso, extremely rare for this artist to have provided any identifying information for his painted subject.

We are told as well that it is a fishing boat, although the thick, rounded hull and dropped sideboard would have made that our first guess, as well as its Northern Europe nationality of the vessel. It was on these shores that Norton perfected his art, following in the steps of William Edward Cook, famous for such scenes through the 1850s.

A serene implication falls over the composition with Norton’s intentionally muted, soft sky tones; the atmosphere feels cool and heavy, yet the colors of the ship’s rails and hulls pop in their blue, green and red hues. The crashing white impasto of the surf gives the scene not only depth, but practically a third dimension with its thick application. The overall feeling of optimism for their success makes this a great and unusual vertical coastal scene, a perfect compliment to a traditional ship portrait.



 
Warren Sheppard
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Sunset Shoreline SOLD

Inspired by the success artist contemporaries such as Francis A. Silva and Alfred T. Bricher found painting luminist scenes, Warren Sheppard sets out to capture the serene essence of a fading day within this painting of the American East Coast. He physically glistens the wet sand with soft reflective color before and after the beached hull compressed by age and the unrelenting surf. At sea a schooner catches the late wind and sets a course back to port. It is peaceful yet lonely scene, and a solid atmospheric composition that uses light and color to project its content. This is a very early work by the artist, we feel, of a favorite beach in his home state.

The subtle interplay of colors works in this instance as the deep gray-green ocean rises in a short wave break, most likely along the outer New Jersey shore. The horizon glows with a warmth of rose, and the clouds are driven from the sky. The entirety is simply worked into the composition in a very tight, natural order.

Sheppard has worked layers of elements into the picture with an interesting horizontal, left to right presentation. The horizon divides the realms and yet is countered by the dark hulk. The shore break splits the swell while its rhythm carries perfectly through the reflection cast across it. Everything reads left to right until the sky once again draws the eye back around to revisit and inspect the overall fine work. The emotional center draws not from the bones of the ship, but from the visit to the shore itself.

Anthony Thieme
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The Bowsprit

Suggesting a view of the Florida Keys or possibly the Caribbean, this interesting composition by Anthony Thieme shows a local working craft, most likely a shrimper or sponge boat, wrapped in close enough to shore to be moored to a tall pine tree.

With headsails drying in the sun, the boat's crewmen busy themselves on deck at the daily tasks required to maintain a working vessel. Under the bowsprit Thieme has used soft greens to capture the translucence of shallow water on a sand bottom, gently fading as it extends to the small cay across the channel where a working schooner lies bow in to the shore.

Relatively obscure waterfront scenes from areas such as this capture and record common elements of the day to day existence of life on and around the water. Anthony Thieme enjoyed creating views of many of the unsung harbors along America's coastline, capturing their essence with his own brand of eloquence and subtle charm.

Frederick Judd Waugh
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Distant Island

Frederick Waugh was a prolific seascape artist who generated 2,500 paintings of the sea and shore. Although it was never published, he penned a ten chapter book on marine painting. Some excerpts were later published in a book about Waugh written by George Havens. They allow us to better understand Waugh’s paintings through his own words. He wrote, “I find that my most striking pictures of the sea are those strong in contrasts, the shadows as dark as I can get them and everything in between of the proper value all the way up.”

Waugh believed in “observations, concentration, and then application” of paint. He stated, “No doubt the sea is a difficult subject. To paint it convincingly means long, careful observation of its many phases.” No doubt he put in the required hours to familiarize himself with his subject, which changed with the tide, wind and weather.

He painted as quickly as possible and felt it was crucial to establish the sky tone first. Capable of painting realistically, Waugh believed in simplifying as much as possible. When sizing up a scene, he looked for big shapes first, since he believed “art doesn’t begin and end in detail.” He embraced the mystery that resulted from areas that were left unfinished.

While working, Waugh continually backed up and looked at his canvases from a distance. We can see the impact of his approach in this painting, the lower left side of the canvas includes bold color choices that reveal themselves when viewed close up but blend together when viewed from a distance. The rocks in the foreground feature highlights and shadows created with brushstrokes in cobalt blue, green, yellow, pink, and orange. The bright colors contrast with the muted green-blue sea and periwinkle sky. The foam on the ocean waves include impressionistic highlights that come to life thanks to gentle pink and orange tones that mimic the sun’s warmth. An unusual feature is the distant island, which is probably off the coast of Maine. In this painting Waugh demonstrates his mature and accomplished talents.



 
David Burliuk
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Lovers at Santa Monica Bluff SOLD

Just northwest of the famous Santa Monica Pier, a romantic rendezvous of an enlisted seaman and his blonde companion is casually observed by a man that we believe to be no other than the artist David Burliuk, painted into his own work. He was renown for his top-hatted attire and shock black hair. Santa Monica and Venice beaches had become prominent destinations for the personnel of the American Armed Forces, with dance halls, amusement rides and the Big Bands in full operation in the early 1940s.

The bluff top vantage point of Palisades Park remains with its cozy fences and benches, an abrupt end to the land approaching Pacific Coast Highway today and in his painting the North Beach Resort tourist facilities are displayed in its then-fading grandeur. The pier and Venice had taken away the dominance of the 1895 structure, with was partially removed and converted later. Still, the mix of Spanish architecture and practical angled roofs and antenna with roof top patios is present.

The layered texture of the brilliant sunset and localized fauna builds the scene warmly. The shore wash hold white froth created as a true watercolorist, with the paper showing through. The reportedly dynamic Burliuk is no less so with his choice of colors with a mix of purple, red and yellow in the sky. The artistry present is charmingly simple of a small town on the verge of blooming into the megalopolis of Los Angeles.

W. Andresen
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Portrait Mrs. E.R Le Marchant

This charming and distinguished looking couple still survive in the radiance of their youth captured for all time by the Plymouth portraitist W. Andresen. Although we know little about the artist, his skill is evident in the fine quality of these images.

Captain Evelyn R. le Marchant, commander of his Britannic majesty's battleship NILE, posed for this portrait in Plymouth, England in January 1906. His vessel, one of the earliest battleships to operate without sails, is shown anchored in the background. The following month his lovely wife Edith posed for her portrait. These two fine images show an interesting balance with the man of the sea in his element and his shoreside wife surrounded by her garden.

Both paintings are very well done in watercolor with added body color, pencil, and charcoal. Their condition is outstanding and both are mounted in their original period frames with antique glass.

W. Andresen
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Portrait Of Captain Evelyn R. Le Marchant

This charming and distinguished looking couple still survive in the radiance of their youth captured for all time by the Plymouth portraitist W. Andresen. Although we know little about the artist, his skill is evident in the fine quality of these images.

Captain Evelyn R. le Marchant, commander of his Britannic majesty's battleship `Nile', posed for this portrait in Plymouth, England in January 1906. His vessel, one of the earliest battleships to operate without sails, is shown anchored in the background. The following month his lovely wife Edith posed for her portrait. These two fine images show an interesting balance with the man of the sea in his element and his shoreside wife surrounded by her garden.

Both paintings are very well done in watercolor with added body color, pencil, and charcoal. Their condition is outstanding and both are mounted in their original period frames with antique glass.



 
Gifford Beal
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Rounding the Mark

A colorful pallette combined with a feathery brush technique mark this action filled image of two grand banks schooners rounding a mark in the International Fisherman’s Races off Lunnenberg Nova Scotia. Their top hampers full and straining with the press of wind filled canvas, the American and Canadian competitors define the meaning of the schooner term “fast and able”.

The first of these popular fishing schooner races began in 1920 after a challenge was sent to Gloucester by the Halifax Herald. The Essex built Esperanto was selected to challenge the Canadian champion Delawana. With a hand picked crew, Esperanto sailed to victory and the beginning of an 18 year rivalry that produced some of the most exciting races in history.

This expressive work captures all the nostalgia of an era that glorified the American fishing schooner. Built to spend the entire fishing season at sea and then utilize their great speed to be first in with the catch, these yacht-like vessels combined beauty and a hardworking seaworthiness that marked the apex of commercial sail and a exciting chapter in yacht racing.

James Bonar
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Massachusetts Harbor of Mattapoisett

A crisp view of an extremely rare detailed harbor scene of the American Northeast has two dockside gentlemen enjoying a clear view from the Mattapoisett Shore, looking southwest back toward Shell Beach and Fairhaven. Historically Mattapoisett and her neighbor to the northeast, Marion, formed with the City of Rochester into the community of Old Rochester. Ned’s Point Lighthouse stands guard at the harbor entrance. A black man watches from the fourth floor of the local sailmaker’s loft.

Bonar was particularly known for his industrial scenes and regional views, and this is very much a portrait of a busy, working harbor. The scene is accomplished, with accuracy points that show Bonar's engineering background, such as the nice proportionate scale of the ocean-going tug boat running broadside, while the sleek-lined coastal schooner departs the local wharf, with other ships at their anchorages.

The region holds its small town charm today, with summer crowds of social elite taking residence. In the 19th century, the shipyards and lumber mills of Old Rochester supported the whaling and fishing industries of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The primary railroad connected to Marion in 1854, so the area rebounded quickly after the Civil War and the discovery of petroleum, more than some of the neighboring towns. This American scene by the artist is an accomplished look at one of the prominent harbors of greater Buzzards Bay.

William Raymond Dommersen
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Lighthouse at Tholen

A bright afternoon along the coast of the Netherlands sets this marine narrative by Dommersen. No less than four fishing crews have chosen to land near the Tholen Lighthouse to sell their day’s catch. The foremost crew has captured the small market of women waiting across the stream, and two masts denote the presence of others just beyond the lighthouse. The prospect of quickly selling the herring and cod in the fourth ship’s hold seems slight today.

Dommersen, a Dutch national, embraced his homeland for its vast network of inlets, channels and rivers. The Netherlands hold a great shoreline to area ratio, and the low elevation along the North Sea ensures fine tidal access to much of it. The country’s dominant economic industry has always been fishing. These crews may sail along the Ooster Schelde waterway and arrive at the town of Bergen Op Zoom, where the tall church spire rise out of the horizon five miles distant.

Using tight realism with a focus on accurate scale and exacting reflective qualities, the artist excels in presenting the local character of the land. From the uniform white cloth bonnets and colorful fabrics of the women to the deep-rouge of the sail cloth, it all accents the central feature of the stone lighthouse. Note the old fortification wall the structure is built upon, a remnant from the days when holland warred with her neighbors, usually the English. By this day, the whale-oil light atop the exterior staircase would welcome the British ships and all other visitors.



 
Charles F. Gerrard
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Regatta in Sydney Harbour

Period yacht racing is a rare and desirable subject for marine paintings, and a 19TH Century work from Australia of this prime subject is among the rarest finds we may offer. The artist, Charles F. Gerrard, shows up in 1882 on the Sydney professional trade list as a painter, then as a marine artist and finally as simply ‘artist’. He exhibits his first works with the Royal Art Society in Sydney in 1884, consisting of coastal scenes. He is extremely well received by his contemporaries according to newspaper reports.

The recognizable features of “The Rocks”, along the western shore of Sydney cove near the harbor bridge, stands forth as a superb background for the racing yachts. This historic location is the foundation of the British Australian empire, and today is the oldest preserved colonial district in the country, described as “Sydney’s outdoor museum”.

Fine-lined cutter yachts compete over a sailing course, with two shown in great close detail while five more hold their positions in the regatta, as the rhythmic small swells are evidence the wind favors the leaders running on close reaches with the crossing tide. The crew and yachts are very much in the British formal yachting manner, with full uniforms and the plum-bow hulls. Note that there is one crew attired in red, possibly a naval marine team, and the sail steam ship anchored in the center flies the Australian Colonial Ensign proudly.

Luigi Loir
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The Pier at Trouville

The crowd is out strolling along the Long Pier of Trouville, the first and premier of the French beach resorts south of the Seine River. The age has begun to awakened beyond Quaker and Victorian sensibilities, and bathing and sea-side resorts along the Normandy coast are in full fashion. The Long Pier was built from 1885 to 1889, straight out from the center of the city. Partially on the account that it is a 5-hour train ride from Paris, the first French coastal hotels established here in the mid-19th Century to success.

A charming work with a vast depth of field for its size, the view is from standing on the pier looking back at the city. The changing tents are of a more permanent sort, an evolutionary design from the original bathing wagons used by French society which allowed the women passengers to stay sheltered right up to the water’s edge. The beach would have numerous changing tents of a temporary nature.

Narratives of people at leisure are widely enjoyed for the depictions of yesterday with the reminiscent charm each inspires. With this in mind, it is interesting to note that it was important to Loir to capture the changing face of modern France as the 20th Century approached, and to hold artistic witness to the everyday courtesies and actions of his national citizens.

Sally Swatland
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Breaking Surf


 

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ACACIA Class Sloop H.M.S. HONEYSUCKLE of 1915

This large, impressive builder’s dockyard model of the H.M.S. HONEYSUCKLE is of museum quality with an outstanding level of detail and craftsmanship. Fitted with gold, silver and copper plated fittings throughout, recently replated.

At the bow, a pair of thick anchor chains and a large windlass hold both anchors aloft. Behind, the first deck gun sits on a raised platform. The conning tower rises three levels above the open deck with portholes and rails on each level. One binnacle sits outside at the top with another inside the wheelhouse, behind the fore steering station. Dual searchlights sit on either side of the wheelhouse.

Copper antennae for the wireless telegraph runs between the two masts, with two down leads dropping just fore of the front funnel and ringed in a protective copper fence near the deck, running through it to terminate in the Wireless Office below, a very unusual and innovative for its time, communication configuration.

At the aft, sits the winch leading to the U-shaped support structure at the stern from which the ship would trawl, seeking to set loose mines attached to the ocean floor. Above the winch sits the aft gun and behind it a second steering station.

The ACACIA class was the first of the so called, “Flower Class” ships of the Royal Navy. Classed as sloops, these ships were built under the Emergency War Program at the start of World War I. The 24 vessels of the ACACIA class were all started in January of 1915 and launched within four or five months. HONEYSUCKLE was built in five at Lobnitz & Co. Shipyard of Renfrew, Scotland, and launched in June of 1915. To ease pressure on shipyards experienced in building larger warships, the smaller ACACIA class was designed to be built at merchant yards like Lobnitz, who at the same time built another of the class, the H.M.S. Iris, launched a month after HONEYSUCKLE.

Also called the “Cabbage Class” or the “Herbaceous Borders” the ACACIAs were the first purpose built minesweepers- a clear indication of the serious threat of mines to the British and Allied fleets. It was feared that convoys could be lured into minefields with large losses of ships and crews that could seriously weaken an entire Navy.

HONEYSUCKLE weighed in at 1,210 tons, at a length of 262.5 feet overall, with a 33 foot beam and 12 foot draught. Coal-powered with two funnels, the ships had double boilers but only a single screw (propeller) with a four cylinder, triple expansion reciprocating engine. This configuration made the ACACIA class half the speed of Destroyers of the same period, or about 16 knots. The choice of conventional steam engines rather than faster turbines made the ships less expensive to build and they were meant as a forward guard, clearing a path for faster ships rather than trying to keep pace with them.

The ACACIAs became well known for being very seaworthy ships, sturdy and maneuverable in many different conditions. With their triple thick, reinforced bows to offer extra protection against mine blasts, 21 of 24 ACACIA ships, including HONEYSUCKLE, survived the war.

After the Battle of Jutland in 1916, a rise in submarine attacks on British merchant ships required larger fleets, so the ACACIAs were fitted to carry depth charges, additional guns were added to the decks and they were redeployed as convoy escorts. With a long range of about 2,000 miles, along with their good seakeeping they were just as successful guarding ships in the North and Atlantic seas. The HONEYSUCKLE model, built at the same time as the ship, shows the ship’s original two gun minesweeper configuration.

The mahogany base of the case is original, as are the brass plinths holding the model. The outer case of fine grained, French polished mahogany, and double pane safety glass was made later in a period appropriate style. Original brass maker’s plaques are set on both sides of the case. A builder’s dockyard model of a sister 1915 ACACIA class sloop, the H.M.S. SNAPDRAGON, is in the collection of the Greenwich Maritime Museum in London.

This is an outstanding builder’s model of an active wartime Naval vessel.


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Builder's Dockyard Model of a Steam Tender

A very rare builder's dockyard model of a steam tender from the 19th century luxury steam yacht Wintonia. The model is made in mahogany with plank on frame construction. Built to scale and in excellent condition, all original, with brass hardware and steam engine the model is housed in its original glass and mahogany case.

The luxury steam yacht WINTONIA was built by Day, Summers and Co. In Southampton, England in 1894 for her owner F.H. Putnam. She weighed 233 tons and measured 137' LOA x 19.2'B x 11.2'D.

Among the photographs of the model you can also see a detail of a painting of the Wintonia by Antonio DiSimone and an original photograph that were formerly in our gallery collection. These are not included in the piece but are shown for reference.


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Builder's Half Hull Model of the Mary Jose

A fine builder's dockyard half hull model of the iron three masted sailing barque MARY JOSE. Built by Birrell Stenhouse & Co. of Dumbarton, England, she was completed in 1876 and launched on January 26th of the same year. Weighing in at 634 tons at a length of 177 feet, 29 ft. breadth and 17.5 ft depth, she was built as a cargo vessel.

She served her first owners, John Jose & Co of Perran-ar-Worthal, Cornwall for nearly twenty years before being sold to J.P. Calusen of Nordby, Denmark, where her name was changed to the Agda. In 1918, she was sold to Manuel G. Marron y Angulo of Havana, Cuba. A year later, she was came back to Europe under the ownership of Chemins de Fer de l'État Francais, Marseilles and was renamed GENEVRIER, until being decommissioned in 1926.

This model was constructed of lifts to aid in shaping the final ship's hull. The painted plaque on the lower right bears the name and location of her shipbuilders.



 

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Extremely Large Napoleonic Prisoner of War Bone Model of the H.M.S. CALEDONIA SOLD

Ordered in 1797, the 120 Gun First Rate Ship-of-the-Line HMS CALEDONIA was launched in 1808 from Plymouth Harbor, taking to sea as Admiral Pellew's flagship in the Mediterranean.

CALEDONIA proved to be a very successful ship, and it was said that 'This fine three-decker rides easy at her anchors, carries her lee ports well, rolls and pitches quite easy, generally carries her helm half a turn a-weather, steers, works and stays remarkably well, is a weatherly ship, and lies-to very close.' She was 'allowed by all hands to be faultless'. In later years she was to become the standard design for British three-deckers.

The ship served the Royal Navy throughout her long life at sea, first as a battleship seeing action against the French in the early 1800's and decades later renamed DREADNOUGHT and docked at Greenwich for a time to serve as a floating hospital ship. She even participated as part of an experimental squadron testing new maritime strategies and technology.

The supreme sailing warships of their age, British Ships-of-the-Line were classified by the number of cannons they carried. Fewer than 18 in service at any point carried 100 guns or more to earn the first-rate designation. Considered a pinnacle artform of the ship modeling craft, bone ships made by prisoners during the Napoleonic Conflict are among the most collectible maritime artifacts to be identified.

This rare model is one of the largest POW bone models we have seen in 44 years of offering these models in our gallery

Model Dimensions: 45 Inches in Length Overall, Height 31 1/2 Inches, Depth 12 1/2 Inches, Hull approximately 27 3/4 Inches Long


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Full Builders Dockyard Model of Sister Tugs FLYING SWIFT and FLYING LINNET

Port Glasgow sits on the Clyde River, and has been major center of shipping since the late 1600’s. Set up as port for the nearby city of Glasgow, this was the last place seagoing ships could dock before sandbanks made further passage upriver impossible. A hundred years later, shipbuilding came to the area and by 1900, it was a major hub of the industry, with yards crowding the river banks.

It was in this setting that the four brothers of the Ferguson family launched their own shipbuilding company. The family leased a choice yard space next to Newark Castle on the Clyde and in March of 1903 Ferguson Shipbuilding Company was born. Their first order, two steam tugboats, the FLYING SWIFT and FLYING LINNET for the Clyde Shipping company. This builder's dockyard model of the tugs was likely the first thing to come out of their new venture.

Modeled in 1/4 in. scale and in outstanding condition, this rare model has recently had all fittings replated in gold, silver or copper. Displayed in her original glass and mahogany case, this is a striking piece of the model craft full of fine detail throughout, from the fire buckets on the cabin roof to the lights on her mast and deck, to the anchors and fittings on the bow and rear deck and more. Unusually, there are two presentation plaques, one at the bow and another on the port side, perhaps an extra effort for the yard's first commission.

Tugboats were the workhorses of the ocean and full dockyard models of historic tugs are rare and hard to find. Both of these vessels were very active bringing ships up and down the Clyde, to and from docks along the river. Details remain only for the Flying Swift, which launched on October 26, 1903 and operated for more than 50 years. A photo of the historic vessel is shown in the listing for reference purposes (not included).

Today the Ferguson Shipbuilders are the last remaining shipyard on the lower Clyde, and the only builder of merchant ships on the river. Still in their original location next to Newark Castle, the yard is the last vestige of an industry which dominated the area, and Scottish life on the sea, for more than a century.

Hull Length: 29 Inches Long


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Live Steam Launch Ship Model BAT

Extremely fine workmanship went into this live-steam scratch-built 1/8 scale model in complete working order. It is a late-20th Century model of the Windermere Boat built by Brockbank from her first owner, Alfred Sladen, from his own design. Completed fitted out with a working engine and equipment, in is absolutely an artisan ship model, set in a heavy brass-edged glass case for display.

The hull is plank-on-frame, painted red below the waterline. Historically, BAT was the first ship ever steered by remote control, from the experiments of Isaac Story and Jack Kitchen. It is believed the first example of a vessel being controlled by radio. Found derelict at Bowness in 1966, she was rebuilt and now can be found in the Windermere Steamboat Museum. This epic British scratch-built live model is one of four known to have been built to this quality.

This model also includes the original green canopy over the passenger compartment, not shown here.



 

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Silver Presentation Yacht Model of the AMERICA

An excellent silverplate model of the famous schooner AMERICA, it is unique in that the yacht is complete even below the trophy’s water line and comes apart from its silver and mahogany base made to look like waves on an active sea. The model bears AMERICA’s famous eagle carving on the stern along with great on deck details such as the yacht’s tiller arm and capstan.

The foremost historic racing yacht ever to sail, the Schooner AMERICA won a silver cup worth 100 British Guineas put up by the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1851. This race established the longest competed for trophy in world yacht racing and all sports in general- the America's Cup, named for this schooner, the first vessel to win the famous race. For her speed at sail she was called a “Hawk among the Pigeons”.

The model bears an engraved plaque - “J. Park Dougall, M.D., Commodore, California Yacht Club, 1929”. The maker’s mark PAIRPOINT is stamped onto the keel, visible when the model is removed from its base. Dr. Dougall is remembered by the California Yacht Club for inaugurating the renewal of their Santa Barbara Island Race in 1929. Dougall was also a well-known doctor in Southern California, assisting the California District Attorney’s office and briefly doctor for gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel.

Pairpoint Manufacturing Company was founded by Thomas J. Pairpoint in 1880 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It soon joined with the glassworks nearby and made glass, silver-plated pieces, and lamps. Still in business today, Pairpoint is America’s oldest glass company. Pierpoint pieces are in the collections of over 30 museums including the Smithsonian, the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


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Steam Racing Yacht SCUD of 1896

Streamlined and elegant, she may not look like today’s luxury speed yachts, but when she was built in 1896 the Steel Steam Yacht SCUD was “the fastest of her size afloat”. Built by John Samuel White Shipyard in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, SCUD was the well-appointed pleasure craft of known sportsman and yacht racer A.H.E. Wood, Esq. of Sudbourn Hall, Suffolk.

Designing for pure speed, White based SCUD’s hull on the sleek lines of early torpedo boats of the Royal Navy, down to her ram shaped bow under the waterline. The ship measured 85ft. in length with a beam of 10ft., 6 in. and depth of 5ft. 10in. She had one propeller, powered by a 530 horsepower steam engine, the steam being generated in a Blechynden water tube boiler. She was noted for having J.S. White's patented turn-about steering system with double rudders.

This finely crafted builder’s dockyard model of the SCUD was built at the same time as the ship itself, and is in outstanding condition and in its original case. The carved wood hull is laminated and with many silver plated fittings throughout. The life preservers bear the vessel’s name and her membership in the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, one of England’s premier racing clubs and home to the finest and most competitive vessels of the time.

Mounted on a face silvered mirror to give the illusion of a full view of the vessel, the addition of angled end mirrors allows the model to be viewed as if standing at stern or bow, to better to admire the ship’s lines. A wood name plate bears her name, shipyard, designer and owner. This fine representation of the SCUD was surely the pride of her owner when he was not aboard the yacht itself.

The June 1896 “Steamships, AN ILLUSTRATED MONTHLY SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL”, reported on SCUD’s steam trials at Stokes Bay: “(She) developed a speed of 20.25 knots an hour or 23.5 statute miles.” “The pressure at the trials was 200lbs., not quite full pressure. The revolutions of the triple expansion engines were 428 per minute. She has very much the appearance of a second-class torpedo boat, so far as her deck arrangements are concerned, and her bow and stern are of naval fashion. At the bow she carries a powerful electric searchlight. She is beautifully fitted below. The saloon and stateroom are aft, fitted with the electric light, and upholstered in royal blue and golden yellow. The crew are berthed forward. Running at over 20 knots there was hardly any vibration. The vessel commanded a good deal of interest amongst the yachting fraternity in the Solent.”

Wood wasn’t known for long ownership of his yachts, preferring to trade up to the latest technology for improvements in speed. SCUD was sold in 1898 to W.C.S. Connall who in turn sold her in 1902 to His Highness Sir Waghji Ravaji, Thakur Sahib of Morvi, an Indian prince in what is today’s State of Gujarat, India. Ravaji still owned her when SCUD was wrecked in 1909.


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US Navy Model of a Foote Class Torpedo Boat SOLD

An extremely rare museum quality 19th Century United States Navy Dockyard built model of a Foote Class Torpedo Boat built by the Colombian Ironworks & Dry Dock Co.

Raised on nickel plated turned pillars the laminated hull is fitted with highly detailed plated fittings, armament, torpedo tubes, guardrails and castles in the original glazed mahogany case with plated builders plaque.

A unique feature of this model is the mechanism to rotate the torpedo tubes and guns by means of a double key in the case that works a series of worm drives through the hull.

Ship details:

Builder: Colombian Ironworks and Dry Dock Co. Baltimore
Displacement: 142t
LOA: 160' 6"
Beam: 16' 1"
Draft: 52 0"

On both sides of the Atlantic, the American and British navies were experimenting with small, high speed, steam driven torpedo boats capable of delivering explosive spears against much larger vessels. The early boats, Alarm and Stiletto were private ventures but USS Cushing, built by the Herreshoff Company, was the first to be delivered to the American Navy in 1890 and was equipped with self-propelled torpedoes.

U.S.S. Foote was a development of these earlier torpedo boats and was built by the Columbian Ironworks & Dry Dock Co., Baltimore and commissioned in 1897.

This model is shown with double bow torpedo tubes, a feature rapidly done away with as the boats frequently ran over their own torpedoes and sealing the tubes from the sea proved problematic.

Both the American and British navies continued with the development of torpedo boats which became progressively larger and more heavily armed and became the foundation of the 20th Century navy destroyer.



 

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Solent Ones Rounding the Lepe Mark

Solent One Racers cut across the rolling waves in this striking work by master maritime artist Montague Dawson. These are racing on the Solent, the strait between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland.

The Solent One Design was one of the first One Design classes created. 22 were built between 1896 and 1897 for members of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Island Sailing Club. Here, there is a fair wind running against the tide, filling their sails but creating more turbulence on the water- a typical afternoon sailing on the Solent. These yachts are rounding Lepe Mark, on the Hampshire coast.

Today, only one of the Solent Ones remains on the water, still racing on the Solent for which it was designed. We've been told by someone that has sailed on her that Dawson has exactly captured both the yacht under sail and the character and color of the sea with brilliant blues and bold brushstrokes.

Yachting scenes are among Dawson's most sought after works. With an active sea, brilliant sky and the close view of the sailors in the main cutter, this example has key aspects which are most desired by collectors of Dawson's works, making this one of the best we have seen.


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Half Model of the SS DONNYBROOK

An exceptional Dockyard Ship Half-Model in a classic hardwood and glass half-round display case. Built circa 1875 in the Wear Dockyard by S.P. Austin & Hunter, this renowned firm began in the Sunderland region in 1826 and built ships well into the 1960s. While the Austin family were associated with this yard for this entire span, James Hunter was a partner only from 1874 to 1879 before striking out to establish his own shipbuilding and repair yard.

This model of the Iron Composition Three Masted Bark is highly detailed and set on a mirror backing, creating the illusion of a full ship model in half the space. Clean woodwork, from posted lifeboats and capped rails, to the carved and gilded male figurehead are all well done. The deck is ink lined and hatches are painted, and there is an unusual small staging platform at the genesis of the bowsprit, rising above the trailing scrollwork. S.S. DONNYBROOK was used as a multi-purpose vessel, carrying cargoes throughout the British Empire. A fine quality period builders model in exceptional condition.


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Napoleonic Prisoner of War Boxwood Cased Miniature Model  SOLD

A pair of very fine miniature ship models, one a First Rate Warship, and the other her escort vessel are set atop a mirrored base, surrounded by a boxwood railing with carved finials, all set under a period glass dome case.

The models are made entirely of boxwood, including the rigging and sails made of very thin and delicate pieces which took a very steady hand to create. Each ship has an incredible amount of detail which can be seen in our photos on this page. Notice the fine ornamental touches throughout- the larger ship includes diamond patterns on the quarter galleries and gunwhales, a floral pattern with rope border on the sternboard and transom, and a repeat of the diamond pattern in several hatch covers on deck. The maker embellished the model further with finely painted highlights in red, green, blue and black with metal accents.

At the bow, a figurehead of a warrior, likely a Trojan or Roman given its attire, holds a shield with silver toned pattern. On deck, there is a curved bell tower and bell, and detailed capstan along with barrels and a pair of matching tenders amidships.

The escort ship echoes the design of the other vessel, with a diamond pattern on a hatch cover and insides of the railing, painted red. A pair of finely wrought anchors sits on both sides of each ship's bow.

The prisoner who made this model clearly had an extraordinary patience and steady hand. The photos make the detail elements appear large, but to view the model in person, these things are tiny to the unaided eye. It's an important model that is a marvel of construction and design.



 

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POW French Prisoner of War 74 Gun Bone Model

Sailing among the massive 100-plus Gun First Rates of the Napoleonic Sailing Warships, the French and British Navies were well represented by a vast number of capable vessels. The single classification that most belonged to would be the 72-to-82 Gun Ships that made up the French Standard and British Third-Rate classes. Considered to be both the ‘Backbone of the British Royal Navy’ and the French Admiralty’s most versatile warship, these Men-Of-War saw more of the naval combat in this era than any other type.

A sharp and finely carved ship model, a Trojan Warrior Figurehead holds the bow forward, shield and sword at the ready, with traditional carved rope line rails, and catted anchors, followed by a bell in its belfry and a deck capstan and barrels. The hull is pinned and planked, with contrasting gunwales between the decks of cannons, their ports painted the traditional blood red. The finely carved stern and quarter galleries echo the elite cabins of the officer’s living quarters. The base fits the model perfectly in style and size.

This work of precise modelers art was made in a British wartime prison, and it records the French pride the skillful makers held for their naval ships. Where most of the Prisoner-made models were of British ships, to find a ready market sale through the guards, this particular 74-Gun warship still held the French identity of her artisans. A great example of this elusive and sought after nautical art form.


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ROYAL SOVEREIGN, Silver Sailing Ship Model

A classic ship from the true Age of Exploration, the ROYAL SOVEREIGN was the penultimate leader of the Royal Navy in the time when England began to dominate the world's oceans, separating from Holland, France, Spain and Portugal. This striking silver ship model carries .800 Silver Proof Marks, and was most likely made in the first quarter of the 20th Century. With gilded flags and other elements, the model is fine lined and well displayed. The Royal Mark of Charles the First is embossed on the hull, near a Three-Plumed Welsh Crown of the Prince of Wales. The full sails, billowing forward are an excellent touch in the precious metal rather than cloth, and period lanterns abound above the ship's numerous cannon barrels.

Built in 1637 as SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS, the First-Rate Ship of 102 guns was actually rebuilt in 1660 and renamed ROYAL SOVEREIGN, serving until 1697. This model of her glory days is a proper representation of one of the first true sailing warships.


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Scratch Built Twin Stack Sidewheeler Model of an Oceangoing Steamer

A scratch built model in silver plate with brass accents. In a period style case, this model was built circa 1870.



 

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Steam Steel Screw Tug CRUISER

The tug this model represents, CRUISER, was built by Alexander Stephen & Sons in Glasgow, Scotland for the local firm of Steel and Bennie. At her launching she measured 105' LOA X 21.B X 11.9 D.

Tugs found service early on during the steam era as wooden merchant ships used their assistance to enter and depart in otherwise adverse weather conditions. Soon even the hardened souls who championed the wooden warships realized that the time of steam-driven ships had arrived.

This builder’s half model is quite well done, mounted on a mirrored backboard to give the illusion of a full view of the vessel. The fittings are gold plated and the builder has given ardent attention to the ship’s precisely scaled representation.


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Builders Model Hull of French Iron Clad Warship

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Clipper Ship COMET of 1851

A fine quality contemporary scratch-built clipper ship model, in 1:96 scale, of the Clipper Ship COMET. She was built by William Webb of New York, launched in July 1851, to serve in the height of the California Gold Rush Trade, primarily for the passenger and cargo. On a return voyage to New York, she set a 76 day sailing record that still stands for a sailing ship.



 

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Dockyard Model of British Tugboat EMPRESS OF INDIA

A spectacular full dockyard model of the British ocean-going tug boat EMPRESS OF INDIA, built in 1898 in Greenock, Scotland. The Steel Single Screw Tug was constructed in exacting style directly after the style of American tugs of New York with their long working deck space and elevated cockpits above the steadily raised hull. Working tugs are extremely rare as dockyard models, and this is a premier example of such a large Tug Boat model.

Steeply rising, the wood bridge helm and cabin is accompanied by the Red and Black company funnel, a solitary lifeboat suspended over the skylights on internal davits. Polished silver fittings run throughout the model’s deck, and her paint has been polished to a glossy sheen. Her skylight and cabin windows are painted on, the planking is inked, while the porthole windows and lined with an opaque green film. The quality glazed hardwood case completes the model in protective fashion.

Built for Jeremy Constant of London, he used her in multiple endeavors until selling the tug in 1903 to Sir John Jackson Ltd., who put her into service in the expansion of the Devonport Dockyard. She sold again to Florence Tugboat and Salvage Co. in 1907, to the Tees Tug Co. Ltd in 1909, in 1913 to the Anglo Persian Oil Company who renamed the tug SIRDAR-I_NAPHTE. She returned to British owners in 1915, and was retired soon after.


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Extremely Rare Builders Half Model of a Double Ended San Francisco Ferry

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Full Ship Model - BELTED WILL of Liverpool

Possessing sharp detail and artistic quality, this model of the 19th Century wooden full-rigged ship BELTED WILL is an accurate representation of an iron beamed ship built by J.T. Fell at Workington in 1863. Set into a diorama display with a models and painted sea, she is the realistic image of the working vessel. The modeler has fitted her out in entirety, with life boats, lines everywhere, and sails up, dangling their reef points.

Several ships were built in Workington for owner J.H. Busby of Liverpool, and primarily put into service in the China Tea Trade. BELTED WILL ran for several years, putting in a voyage of 103 days to Hong Kong on her maiden sail. She sailed the next six years under Capt. A. Locke, and then her owners were changed to Shaw, Bushby, & Co. in 1880. She sold to Anton Hulthen of Helsingborg in 1883, and lasted until being stranded on the rocks at Yttergrundet at Soderarm in July 1893.

This is a fine display model of a bygone era on sailing merchant ships, and an excellent individual example of the craft and skill of British ship-modeling.

Wood & Glass case with Modeled Plaster Sea: 50½ x 17¼ x 31⅝ Inches,



 

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Half Model of the Ship EXCELSIOR of Maine

Build in the Kennebunk yards at the birth of America’s grandest commercial sailing age, the 444-ton EXCELSIOR exemplified the first priorities of merchant shipping: full-bodied lines with heavy, dependable construction, allowing for secure massive cargoes. This would soon make way for the concept of speed, both in the already competitive tea trade with the Orient, and the California gold trade.

Her authentic builder’s half-block model shows the pride of craftsmanship the ship rightly deserved. Smartly painted in black with the dual waterline yellow-red combination, her level keel in the oxide-inspired red, the original paint is a highly desirable attribute for a model of this age. The bow trailboard has gilt decoration and the ships name is smartly at the port rail. The model fills the simple heavy wood backboard with presence.

Her history of service is varied and interesting. While far from completely recorded or discovered, she is listed as a ship under the command of Captain Charles Williams of Kennebunk at her launching. The Williams were merchant ship pioneers, in that they both captained and owned ships in both the merchant and whaling trades. His brother, William H. Williams is recorded as her captain the next year. She hits another role in 1848, listed under the Benjamin Bruce’s line of Boston as a coastal passenger and cargo carrier. She registers on the New York port survey in 1853, as a member the Old Line of American ships sailing to foreign ports. A verbal provenance suggested she did some whaling in the era as well, but substantiation of this service has yet to be found. A versatile ship remembered through a quality builders model.


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Live Steam Model of a Speedboat
This working model of an English Speed Boat, circa 1910, features original paint with brass parts that have been highly polished and lacquered. In excellent condition.

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POW 68-Gun Sailing War Ship of the Line

A warship that formed the backbone of the British Royal Navy through the Napoleonic Campaigns and beyond, this 68-Gun Man-O'-War is a fine representation of an artform that has fascinated ship model collectors since its inception. Imprisoned soldiers and sailors, held primarily in British ships that had been turned into hulking prisons on the water, became studios for industrious captives, often of French or Dutch allegiance.

Sharp lines, good proportions, and an attention to detail are all notable features of this carved bone Napoleonic Ship Model. Dressed with carved railings and outfitted with the appropriate fittings, the model is set on a marquetry boxwood base with a carved bone scrolling edge plate. A very nice combination of historic value and artistry in this ship model.



 

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Scratch Built Model SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS

A very fine cased scratch built model by Myron Van Ness. Van Ness was a well-known and respected maker of high quality ship models in Southern California.

SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS, a clipper ship built in 1852, was a sailing vessel notable for setting the 1854 world record for fastest sailing ship—22 knots, a record the ship held for over 100 years.

Built by Donald McKay of East Boston, Massachusetts, SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS was the first ship to travel more than 400 nautical miles in 24 hours. On the second leg of her maiden voyage, she made a record passage from Honolulu, Hawaii to New York City in 82 days. She then broke the record to Liverpool, England, making the passage in 13 days 13.5 hours. In 1853 she was chartered by James Baines of the Black Ball Line, Liverpool for the Australia trade.


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Silver Plated Gaff Rigged Cutter

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American Sailor Made Folk Art Diorama

More information to follow.



 

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Bone and Teak Ship Model

Sailing ship model with very nice detail, with bone masts, cabins, decks, rails, complete rigging. Nice artisan wood and glass case.


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Builders Half Model Stern Wheel Steamship HERCULES of Portland, Oregon

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Contemporary Model of the Sailing Yacht AMERICA

A finely crafted contemporary model of the famous 19th century racing yacht, AMERICA. Crafted of wood with copper sheet hull, with excellent detail work.

The foremost historic racing yacht ever to sail, the Schooner AMERICA won a silver cup worth 100 British Guineas put up by the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1851. This race established the longest competed for trophy in world yacht racing and all sports in general- the America's Cup, named for this schooner, the first vessel to win the famous race. For her speed at sail she was called a “Hawk among the Pigeons”



 

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JOHN CARVER, American Whale Bark Model
A quality cased American Whale Bark Model, with good age, circa 1900. The Ship JOHN CARVER was built in 1841 for Albert Carver of Searsport, Maine. The vessel weighed in at 298 Tons, and after 1870 ran primarily out of New Bedford in the Atlantic and Pacific Whaling Trades. At least one of the Bark's Log Books is in the collection of the NEw Bedford Whaling Museum, listing Master Jacob L. Howland in 1870.

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Sailor, scratch Built Model Of The Full Rigged Four Masted Ship LOCHNESS

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Builder Half Model with Multi Color Lifts SOLD

Probably a river or shallow water craft, given the shallow draft of the ship.

Butterscotch finish, laminated with multicolor wood lifts.



 

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Builders Half Model - American Downeaster

Laminated lifts with nice scrollwork on the stern and bow.


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Builders Half Model - American Merchant Schooner

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Builders Half Model of the Yawl WOODBINE with Collection of Ship's Artifacts

The Yawl WOODBINE was built in 1881 in Northam, Southampton, England, measuring 55 feet long with a breadth of 12 feet and of 37 tons.

The model comes with two registry bill of sale documents, 1897 and 1930 as well as a hand written inventory of all items associated with the vessel, Lloyds insurance papers showing particulars including an accommodation plan and four log books. Also an 11 5/8" diameter plate with the vessels name as well as four period photographs.

Log Books:

Paper bound ( not shown ): beginning 1898.

Blue bound: beginning: 1899.

Green bound: beginning: 1902.

Book with flags: beginning: 1906.



 

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Center Board Sloop Pond Model

64 Inches high with stand x 35 Inches long x 10½ Inch beam.

Base dimensions: 9¾ x 27½ Inches.


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Half Model of the S.S. MEDWAY

Built in Sunderland in 1879, the Screw Steamer MEDWAY was a product of the shipbuilding firm of S.P. AUSTIN & HUNTER in the district where the Tyne River meets the North Sea on England’s East Coast. Powered by a 99-horsepower compound engine built by Northeast Marine Engineering Company, the cargo ship also possessed two schooner-rig masts, and proved quite competent.

The model is very desirable, and it shows it in its highly unique half-round glass and carved display case, complete with hardware designed to flush mount the model on a wall. The masts are admiralty-style cut-aways, with just their beginnings showing. The decks come completely loaded with the working equipment necessary to run the large ship. The funnel is cut away as well, while there is a large vent next to the stack and one more in the middle of the small forecastle deck. Each deck and bridge is defined by fine carved ivory balustrades.

The model’s precise scale well represents the ship’s 226'L x 31'B x 15'8"D actual size. While the ship’s hull was built with four main bulkheads, the model is carved and owns fine gilded bow and stern decorations. Registered at the Port of London, the open bridge with wing bridges to each side would have offered spectacular views of the English Coasts and cities along the Tyne and Thames Rivers.


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MISS ENGLAND, 1932

MISS ENGLAND III, Pennant No. K.1., set the World Speed Boat record at 119.81 miles per hour with Kaye Don as her racing captain at Loch Lomond, Scotland, on July 18, 1932. Smack in the evolutionary heart of the modern sport, she faced off against MISS AMERICA X in the Harmsworth Challenge Cup.

This is a fine scale model of an early dual-prop hydroplane speedboats with a squared-off stern.



 

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Pond Model With Lock In Rudder

55 inches high with stand.

36 inches long.

9 inch beam.

Stand dimensions: 15½ inches long x 7 inches wide.


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PRIDE OF BRITAIN III, Wood Toy Boat by Bing SOLD

Signed on stern "Malcom Waterson"


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Sailors Art Diorama Full Rigged Ship LADY ELIZABETH

Painted background with lighthouse, seagulls, sailboats and a sidewheel steamer.



 

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Scratch Built Ship Model of the American Brig MERMAID, Boston

In excellent condition.


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Builders Dockyard Model- Iron Hopper Barge

By Edward's Brothers now Smith's Dock Company Ltd. Iron & Steel Ship Builders & Dry Dock Owners- North shields.

Dimensions:Model: 24 5/8 inches long x 7 inches wide 7 3/4 inches high with stand. Base:11 7/8 inches x 31 3/8 inches.


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Cased Half Model of Lifeboat-National Lifeboat Institute


 

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Steam Sail Ship BRENTWOOD with Original Oil Painting

An excellent example of the Diorama Model. The inclusion of the finely worked oil painting behind and to the sides of the model is a rare and unique inclusion to this diorama. Another unusual feature is the inclusion of figures on the deck.

The painting features a three masted Barkentine steaming in the opposite direction of the model, with a third ship, a Cutter, aft. Edged in a fine gilt frame, in its original case and in outstanding condition.


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Full Rigged Ship JANE

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American Folk Art Ship Model

20 inches long x 11 1/4 inches high x 4 inches wide.



 

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American, Scrimshaw Sewing Chest with Bone Inserts

Retains its original finish and hand painted floral design and stripping.


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Large Iron Armada Chest, 17th Century Strong Box

An excellent example of an actual “treasure chest” from the 17th century, this heavy iron strong box possesses artistic touches and fine patina which enrich its presence. Made of the heaviest iron construction by European craftsmen, these chests were sold to the sailing nations, including Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and England. Used to transport and secure gold, silver, documents and other valuables, once loaded and locked, this chest would have been incredibly difficult to move.

A striking green exterior is topped by strapping and bolts in dark bronze, with small touches of other remaining paint details which once must have covered the chest. An elaborate Gothic escutcheon sits on the face, luring potential thieves to waste time on the false lock it decorates. On either side are large vertical iron hasps which would allow for two additional padlocks. The real lock sits hidden under an iron swivel plate in the center of the lid. A turn of the large key releases the ten bolt mechanism which is the chest's primary security. Heavy twisted iron beckets at each end had to have been hand-forged by a master iron smith.

The interior of the chest holds another locked compartment for items of even greater value. Unfortunately we do not have a key for this compartment, so it remains unopened. The interior locking mechanism is covered by an intricate scroll-cut panel that features mermaids on either side with two sea monsters back to back in the center, their tails entwining in great swirls. Once a portable safe, this box is now itself a treasure.


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Sailor's Pine Sea Chest with Beckets

A Sailor's Sea Chest made of pine with brass covered lockplate, dovetail construction, nice period knotted beckets and carved ends.



 

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AUSTRALASIAN Off South Sydney Heads

Proud Liner of the Aberdeen White Star Line, AUSTRALASIAN carried emigrants and first-class passengers to Australia and the Southern Orient in the late 1880s & 1890s. This colorful period woolwork picture depicts the steaming vessel near “South Sydney Heads” with its prominent lighthouse, with a man working the signal tower flag. Several sailors and passengers are shown onboard the ship as well. Sydney Heads was the site of the first ‘forced landing’ of British passengers, some 750 convicts, in 1788.

Possessing attributes which make the artwork highly desirable and different from most surviving examples of these fine works, the puffed sails are extremely nice to have. Signed works of this nature are very rare, and the embroidered title and known headlands are a plus. The scenes detailed look at the cliffs, and the nautical activity at sea and shore add value, too.

The ship flies the British Red Ensign, and was built in 1884 by Robert Napier of Glasgow for the Aberdeen Line. Her steam/sail rig provided versatility while she demanded a substantial amount of coal fuel, now that stations along the route were being stocked for the Southern Hemisphere voyages.


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Sailors Woolwork of a Steam Sail Ship with Cliffs

This fine sailors woodwork shows a three masted steam-sail ship along the English coast. This British merchant ship is configured for maximum speed, with sails aloft and steam billowing from her funnel. Behind white chalk cliffs sits a patchwork of farm fields and houses, evoking English pastoral life which depended on merchant vessels such as this one to carry their goods across the sea.

Unusually tight, crisp detail and fine workmanship is present, including three dimensional stitching on the sails and bead detail for the cannons and at the top of the masts. A fine period rosewood frame completes this excellent example of the sailor art form.


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Sailors Woolwork Picture of a British Frigate


 

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Early Cribbage Board of Hardwood
Sliding compartment at bottom rear, with two pegs. Very nice early gaming device. From a Dartmouth, Mass. family collection in 1973.

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Napoleonic Prisoner Of War Bone Automated Spinning Jenny

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Napoleonic Prisoner Of War Bone Automation - Spinning Jenny

More information to follow.



 

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Rare Dark Brown Glass Rolling Pin

Rolling pins of blown glass were a token of fidelity and a kind of talisman made or, more often, purchased by sailors to remind a girl of her fiance or husband sailing on the high seas. They were often decorated with portraits of ships and rhymes.

This unusual, very thick pin in dark brown glass is one of the rare sailor made examples. Hand etched are the words, "Look Out For Squalls - Jack 1847". A hand points to the words to give emphasis, and the rest of the pin is covered all over with a variety of images: a steam-sail sidewheeler, a brig at sail, a sloop within what appears to be a larger ship's hull, the Union Jack, a signal flag, birds and decorative flourishes. In excellent condition.


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REMEMBER ME, Sailor's Commemorative Glass Rolling Pin

Rolling pins of blown glass were a token of fidelity and a kind of talisman which was to remind a girl of her fiance or husband sailing on the high seas. They were often decorated with portraits of ships and rhymes.

This milk white glass pin with colorful decoration reads, "Ashore, your Jack's Safe Return to His True Love", with two additional painted verse stencils and a Clipper Ship.


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Whaleman Carved Boxwood Busk
Nine panels on this mid-19th Century sailor-carved woman's corset busk, with geometric designs, floral elements and a house set in the center.


 

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Napoleonic Prisoner Of War Bone Automated Spinning Jenny

More information to follow.


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Napoleonic Prisoner Of War Straw Box

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Sailing Barque & Steam Sail Ship in Bottle SOLD
An exceptional ships-in-bottle, with a rigged barque running parallel to a steam/sail ship along a harbor walkway. Beyond the walk, two-story building compete for sky space with palm tress, suggesting the location as the French Riviera.


 

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Ship In A Bottle With Tugboat Hauling A Brigintine. Also a Sloop Under Full Sail And A Shore Scene With Lighthouse

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Trinity Lighthouse Box - Top Inlaid With British Naval Vessel, Schooner and Lighthouse on Shore.

Artifacts made by British Lighthouse Keepers were marketed directly to the sailing captains and owners of the ships they aided. Fine inlaid woodwork is a telltale attribute of their learned craft, with parquetry and marquetry examples in existence. The Trinity House Box, for letter writing, sewing, and tea storage are very desired, as well as the uniquely stylized tables and ship models members of the service built.


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Whaleman Carved White Holly Wood Busk
Inscribed "M.A. Jones", with portrait of a man and stars.


 

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Folk Pin Cushion with Wood Base and Whalebone, Red Velvet Cushion

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Sailors Woolwork With Two Ships

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Sailors Woolwork H.M.S. ICARUS-Think Of Me

More information to follow.



 

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Sailors Woolwork with Ship, Florals and Photographs

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19th Century Bald Eagle American Yacht Tiller Arm

This finely carved mahogany and brass tiller arm would have been used to steer one of the great American yachts of the period. This is of a size and quality as those found on the America's Cup schooners like AMERICA and COLUMBIA.

The striking head of a bald eagle sits above the brass collar which would have been used as a grip. The eagle's eyes are set in a fierce expression and his mouth sits open to show the sharp curves of his beak. The arm curves up gracefully into a column motif and then sweeps down with the final section adorned by a large stylized leaf shape, perhaps that of a stylized olive branch. Each section is deeply carved with excellent detail and decorative touches.

The arm has been French polished to bring out the deep, rich patina in the wood, a process which took an expert more than a week to complete. The last three photos included here show the arm before it was polished.

One of the finest tiller arms we have ever seen, this is a unique example of the work of a 19th century master of ship carving.


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American Eagle Ship’s Figurehead


 

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American Ship's Figurehead of a Young Boy Holding a Dove SOLD

This finely carved figurehead of a boy with dove is a reference to the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. After the great flood Noah released a dove in order to find land. The dove came back carrying an olive leaf as a sign of renewed life and heralded the safe return of all aboard to land. Many artists have depicted this return with the dove landing in the hands of a child, another nod to new beginnings.

Birds have been the friends of sailors for millennia. The use of doves or birds by ancient navigators to find land are mentioned in the traditions of many cultures, as far back as ancient Mesopotamia (20th-10th century BCE) and include many others such as the Vikings and the early Polynesians. Additionally, the dove has been used as a symbol of the divine both in the bible and earlier, throughout many cultures of the ancient world.

Those who sailed aboard the ship bearing this figurehead would have also hoped for divine assistance in a safe return to land and calm on the waters making this a powerful symbol of the hopes of every person to set out upon the seas throughout history.

The carving is well done, with excellent detail throughout. The boy wears fine clothing- a long jacket over black breeches trimmed in red. At his waist the jacket is gathered in a twisted rope belt with tasseled ends, highlighting the excellent carving of the flowing, folded fabric which appears to sweep backward, caught in the wind just as the clothes of a real boy would be aboard ship.

Under the jacket he wears a white shirt with black buttons and a small red tie around the neck. The face is particularly well carved, and given that it is inset may have been contributed by a more skilled carver. His dark brown hair is trimmed in a boyish style of the period, bobbed with a slight curl at the ends. His bent arms end with upturned hands cradling a white dove. On his feet are sturdy brown boots over red and black socks.

The figure has a nice patina and retains many touches of original paint. His arms can be removed at the shoulder- a common feature in figureheads to save more delicate elements from damage in rough seas. The figure is attached to a later wood frame which allows it to tilt at the same angle it would have been aboard ship. In very good condition with no dry rot.


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American Woman Ship's Carved Figurehead

A finely detailed carved wood figurehead, diminutive with classic features, the origin of this womanly ship icon is American. Telltale clues include that her regency-style, just-above-the-shoulder dress sleeves that “poof” and the modest neckline, especially when matched to the upswept, comb-held, coiled hairstyle and carved oval earrings. All these fashion elements are suggestive of American fashion, circa 1820s. The leading figurehead historian England and a distinguished maritime museum curator in America both concur.

Properly attired, she looks quite reserved. Set on a carved plinth with a geometric pattern and rolling scroll, it blends into a sash-ribbon tied around her torso. The detail of the hair tightly bound in an upswept coiled bun. Prim and poised, the woman figure is fairly vertical in position, indicating an installation on a smaller vessel, possibly the bow of a schooner or small brig from the first quarter of the 19th Century. It has the correct wood plugs to have been properly mounted. The simple white paint with the sea-foam green dress is most likely very close to her original color and just freshened up a bit over time.

It is recorded that the piece was salvaged from a sailing vessel that broke up in Stomness on Orkney in the 19th Century, and entered a British collection and passed through the family for three generations before being sold. It is a classic American ship’s figurehead of a quality, type and size seldom found.

A full report on this antique, carved figurehead by leading figurehead historian Richard Hunter of England is available.


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Builder's Quality Live Steam Engine Model

This brass live steam model includes a copper boiler with German pressure gauge. Very detailed and intricate, the model is mounted on a turned mahogany base with maker's plaque and includes its original locking mahogany case with brass handle. Given the intake tube under the boiler this may have been gas powered.

Plaque: Made by William Halliday Preston, 1885. With pressure gauge marked Schaeffer & Budenburg- a German company who at the time this engine was made was also manufacturing gauges in the United States.



 

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Carved Gilt Figurehead of an Eagle from Schooner FLEETWING

This outstanding figurehead is from one of the most famous racing yachts of all time- George and Franklin Osgood’s FLEETWING. Both members of the New York Yacht Club, the brothers Osgood would own several racing yachts over the years and would compete in America’s Cup races among many others. FLEETWING was part of the regatta that defended the first challenge of the America’s Cup in 1868. However, it was the first transatlantic ocean race for which both men and FLEETWING would be best known.

One night in 1866, over after dinner drinks at New York’s Delmonico’s restaurant, George Osgood and fellow NYYC member Pierre Lorillard debated the merits of centreboard versus keel yachts. FLEETWING was a keel yacht while Lorillard’s VESTA was a centerboard. As the alcohol flowed the debate became more heated, and eventually Lorillard challenged Osgood to prove the superiority of his yacht’s design by racing him to England. Osgood agreed saying they should set off in December in order to get the roughest weather for sailing. Lorillard is said to have replied, “The rougher the better!”

The men set a small wager to cover expenses and within a day word of the race got around to every sporting man in town including fellow NYYC member James Gordon Bennett, Jr. son of James Bennett, founder of the Herald newspaper. Bennett Jr. begged Lorillard and Osgood to allow his yacht HENRIETTA to join the race. The two agreed on the condition that the stakes be raised to $30,000 each- about $450,000 today. Bennett agreed.

Built by Van Deusen of New York in 1865, FLEETWING was 206.1 tons, 106.6 feet overall, 23.8 beam and 11.8 draft. FLEETWING was considered to be of superior design and was the favorite in the race going in.

All three schooners set off from Sandy Hook, Connecticut on December 11, 1865. Only Bennett was aboard his ship though he, like the other two, had professional captains and crews aboard to do the actual sailing. The winter seas quickly turned the race into a battle against the elements. On day two FLEETWING’s jib boom broke, though she continued on. By day four all three schooners were taking on so much water that bailing over took racing. Days of hard weather and skillful navigation followed before Bennett’s HENRIETTA would reach Cowes on the Isle of Wight at the fastest time of 13 days, 21 hours and 55. Both FLEETWING and VESTA would arrive the next day, within an hour of each other, FLEETWING coming in second.

The race was avidly followed by the world’s press, and the drama of the race caught the attention of sporting fans on both sides of the Atlantic. After this yacht racing was seen as a legitimate sport, which continues to thrill fans to this day.

This race and its vessels were painted by all the great maritime artists of the period, including six known works by James E. Buttersworth. We are fortunate to currently also have in our inventory one of the best of these Buttersworth depictions of the race, The Start of the Great Transatlantic Yacht Race which can be found here

The hand painted plaque atop the eagle reads: Schr. Yacht Ocean Race - Sandy Hook to Needles I.W.
Dec. 11-25, 1866, Stakes $30,000 each.
Yacht : Owner : Time : LAW
Henrietta : J.G. Bennett, Jr. : 13 d, 21 hrs, 55 min : 92
Fleetwing : G.A. Osgood : 14 d, 6 hrs, 10 min : 95
Vesta : P. Lorillard, Jr. : 14d, 6hrs, 50 min : 98


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Cased Pair Flintlock Target Dueling Pistols by Collins of London

An excellently made pair of cased 54 caliber flintlock target or dueling pistols by James Collins of London. The barrels have a brown Damascus finish with great dark patina.The exotic wood stocks are particularly well grained with the craftsman taking obvious care in selecting the wood for the areas which would remain unadorned. The silver accents are very well engraved, with tight scrollwork especially on the lockplates and on the underside of the gun which include flourishes with botanical and architectural motifs.

Both barrels marked with maker's name and address on the top: Collins, 12 Vigo Lane, Regent Street, London" and again "Collins" on each lockplate. The guns and accessories are housed in their original mahogany case lined with green felt. The unique brass and red leather powder flask has a small compartment in the bottom for flints. Brass accents on the case include a monogrammed disc in the center, with initials A.M.D. Whomever owned these pistols clearly used and valued them, as the case has the kind of warm patina that wood achieves with age and after much use and years of polishing.


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Draeger Dive Helmet, DM40 No. 3247

A mid-20th Century Diving Helmet from the Draeger Company of West Germany, they are still among the world leaders in diving apparatus, and other fields requiring respiration devices. This classic diving lid is very clean and polished, despite its obvious heavy use. It has the top-mounted carrying handle that Draeger added to their lids from the beginning in the late 19th Century.

The company emblem is pressed in the front breastplate, and the helmet fixtures include the telephone connection, air intake and air exhaust.



 

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Dutch Log Timer Tobacco Box

This copper and brass tobacco box features a perpetual calendar on the lid and is marked with a date of 1764. There are two portraits on the face, potentially of Julius Caesar and Pope Gregory to commemorate the Julian and reformed Gregorian calendars.

On the reverse there is another portrait, this time an explorer pointing to a spot on a globe. Given the marked date of 1497 this could be Amerigo Vespucci. Below the portrait is a speed table used to calculate speed in the water. A chip of wood was tossed over the side of a vessel from a set station that carried a mark down the side of the ship. The sailor would then count rhythmically until the chip reached a second mark on the side. Because the distance between the marks was a known constant this allowed them to calculate their speed. The system was originally designed by Pieter Holm who ran a navigation school in Amsterdam.

The last image seen here is taken from the book, "Decorative Arts of the Mariner" by Gervis Frere-Cook, showing a log timer similar to this one.


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Early Cased Pair of Percussion Dueling Pistols by Durs Egg of London

An extremely fine pair of cased dueling pistols, this set made by Durs Egg of London is covered over in artisanal touches and top quality workmanship.

The 54 caliber guns feature octagonal barrels with a rich Damascene finish and excellent original patination. The silver-plated lockplate is covered over in scrollwork with decorative edging which continues up to the hammers, the very top of which are engraved to look like leaping fish. Well grained rosewood stocks are capped at the butts in silver, with fine leaf and flourish engraving surrounded by braid motifs on the sides. Scrollwork continues up the trigger guard, finishing on the underside of the gun with a particularly detailed shell motif. Even the thin muzzle bears fine leaf engraving, and all the large screws on the guns are engraved with flowers.

Both guns are signed on the top of their barrels “D. Egg, 4 Pall Mall, London” and “D. Egg” on both lockplates. This is the work of one of the premier firearm makers of his age, Ursus Christian Egg, known as Durs Egg. Egg moved from his native Switzerland to set up his gun works in London in 1772, the hub of gun manufacture and innovation at the time. During his career he was a gun maker to British Royalty, including King George III, George IV and the Prince of Wales.

The guns, tools and accessories, including 10 lead balls, are set in their original green velvet-lined mahogany case with brass details including corners, escutcheon and latches. Concentric brass circles, one raised and the other inset, both with toothed-rim detail, adorn the top of the box. The inside of the box bears the original Durs Egg label.

Given the high level of embellishment and excellent condition of these pistols they were clearly made for a person of worth who valued them highly.


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English Flintlock Brass Barrel Railgun Blunderbuss

A rare-type brass barrel set in hard English oak, this Blunderbuss Swivel Railgun carries Birmingham proof marks, and has the Tower of London symbol and the royal cypher of King George III on the lockplate. The 25 inch brass barrel flares at the muzzleto slightly more than 3 inches, and a heavy brass butt plate terminates the stock. The Tower Armory record for the period lists a reserve weapons inventory that counted "2,000 musquetoons", which counted smaller blunderbuss, dragoons, and railguns.

The weapon would have been issued to a naval vessel, and installed to hold a prominent guard position on the rail, either along the main deck or possibly even stationed overhead on a fighting platform. The firearm is secured on an original iron yoke, set into a display wood block. This is an exceptional firearm with an imposing presence and deadly function.



 

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English Two Inch Bore Bronze Naval Cannon

As the 1700's began, most cannons were made to whatever design their foundry favored, with the only common standard being the caliber of projectiles, resulting in a huge variety of styles with different weights, ranges, and ordinance- and with varying degrees of reliability. In 1716, England's forces were among many armies of the day who began efforts to standardize the manufacture of their artillery. Under the British Board of Ordnance, a central engineer or "Surveyor General" was appointed to create specifications or patterns under which all British Military cannon were made, allowing any foundry to turn out near-identical weapons.

This cannon is made in the Armstrong-Frederick Pattern style, made for the British Navy from 1753-1794. John Armstrong was the second Surveyor General, appointed in 1722. By 1725 he created the first comprehensive specifications for cannon manufacture- complex proportions which governed the dimensions of every section. Armstrong's successor, Charles Frederick, made some small modifications to the design in 1753, and cannons made from the new pattern bearing both their names were made for nearly 40 more years. Considered a successful and durable design, cannons like this one would have been used aboard British vessels during the American Revolutionary War.

Their design was striking- rather than narrowing gradually down the tube, this cannon has unusual step downs in tube diameter between the first and second reinforce and again at the chase, with concentric reinforce rings between each section, before widening out again at the muzzle. At the other end the first reinforce includes a vent, and beyond it, the base ring has the maker's mark-“GILKS, WILSON, & CO., TOWER HILL, LONDON” aka C.H. Gilks & Co., Gunmakers and Ships’ Ironmongers, No. 3 Union Row, Little Tower Hill, London.

In very good condition, this cannon has a very rich, deep bronze patina on the tube and a clear, smooth bore. It is extremely rare to find a cannon of this age with their original carriages; this cannon's original Naval-style stepped carriage is sound and includes bronze and iron hardware, also with good patina. A very rare combination of factors makes this cannon desirable both to the maritime and cannon collector.

Tube: 34 Inches including Cascabel


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French 18th Century 1lb. Bronze Cannon on Carriage

This rare French 1lb, two inch bore, bronze cannon sits on a stepped naval style carriage. This gun features an outstanding rich, dark green patina maintained in rare condition for a piece of this age.

The cannon is a French model 1786 Pierrier, numbered for the year the design was formalized and adopted as a standard. Historians believe that this cannon was the first French standardized model swivel gun. Pierrier were relatively short guns firing medium weight solid shot, designed for close range battering. Pierriers are similar to later carronades. The 1786 Pierrier were considered such good guns that they remained in use in the French Navy until 1854. Some were even converted to percussion lock.

The vent of this cannon is particularly unique- a 4 1/2" integrated iron vent sits at the breach which due to patina and pitting appears to be of age with the iron on the carriage. French records dated 1785 show drawings of this same type of vent so this may be an early version of the 1786, cast the previous year before the standard was completely finalized.

In this period, bronze cannon were preferable but more costly and time consuming to make and a very small percentage of cannons made in France were bronze, most were iron. An artillery text in written in 1780 notes that bronze was nine to ten times as expensive as iron. Unlike iron, bronze doesn't rust, important at sea when rust could make shot stick in the tube. If a cannon were to fail, iron would be a greater danger, likely to shatter and cause damage to men or ship, where bronze artillery would likely only split. Bronze could be cast to tighter tolerances; the tubes could be thinner, saving weight and they tended to be more accurate. A smaller caliber bronze cannon could be used on the top deck forward or aft and aimed at ships pursuing or being pursued by the vessel. Lower cannon decks could take larger caliber guns made of iron; heavier and unlikely to move out of their ports, these would be used for broadside shots amidships.

Any bronze artillery of this age is rare since many were melted down and recast as required for later conflicts. No bronze was safe from those seeking scrap- gun suitable bronze was so desired that not only cannon were taken from defeated foes, but also bells and anything else of copper or brass available were considered fair spoils of battle.

Overall this is an excellent example of a rare French cannon with outstanding presentation and appearance.


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French Brass Speaking Trumpet

A great historical brass lacquered speaking trumpet with fine engraving and decorative detail. The markings indicate this was handed down through multiple ship captains and carried on many ships. The center is engraved with a large monogram, "G.A." surrounded by olive branches with ribbon motif around which are engraved likely ports of call on the left: Bogota, Pisco, Madras, Tag'e and on the other side what are likely additional ship names. Below this is another smaller pair of initials, "C.F."

In and around the central engraving there are the names of 14 vessels with dates throughout the piece. Engraved in a variety of font styles each which likely represented the fashion of the day or preference of the captain, this is a unique and personal artifact of seafaring life.


Vessel Names
CECILE, 1825
ATALANTE, 1827
MANLIUS, 1829
TOURVILLE, 1831
PHENIX, DORADE, MARIE AIGLE dated 1840
GANGE, 1861
ARAL. HAMELINE, 1865
ECLAIR, 1866
ANGE MARIE, 1868
VILLE DE MALAGA, date unclear
VILLE DE CADIX, 1871
VILLE DE LISBONNE, 1872


 

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Late 18th Century Carved Figurehead of a 17th Century British Admiral

An impressive carved presence that we believe was once the namesake representative of a warship and a British Naval Officer whose memory and career it celebrates. Dressed in an ascot and waist coat with floral designs and buttons, his majestic long wig of curled ringlets is predominant, accented with his facial goatee and moustache. Serious effort has gone into the carving of this male figure, and fine, trace amounts of old paint and primer are evident with the majority of the surface having been stripped back to the natural grain of aged pine wood. The back is flush-flat, with the evident mount bolt-hole. This early, upright style of a figurehead would have been bracketed by the billets of a fighting ship prow at the bow stem.

There are several early British Admirals who the figurehead may possibly represent, but in our researched opinion, he looks very much like 17th Century British Admiral Thomas Teddeman, who won his greatest naval accolades in the Anglo-Spanish War of 1660 and against the Dutch in the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665, as the Rear-Admiral of the Blue from his flagship H.M.S. ROYAL KATHERINE. He was knighted on July 30, 1665. As Admiral Teddeman or another contemporary of his, it is still a rare original carved British Figurehead of a type collected worldwide.


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Miller Dunn Shallow Water Diving Helmet with weights

A quality shallow-water diving helmet in excellent condition with weights. The four-light 'DIVINHOOD' with a top carrying handle and company name plates was produced by the Miller-Dunn Company of Miami, Florida, circa 1935, for the United States Navy and other users. This is their Style 3 model.

25 Inches High x 12 Inches Wide x 12 Inches Deep.


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Miller Dunn US Navy Style 2 Divinhood Dive Helmet

Considered one of the most visually dramatic helmets ever made, this very rare, early Style 2 Miller-Dunn Divinhood Shallow Water Dive Helmet was made circa 1925. The visual appeal comes from the two large pieces of angled glass making up the face plate covered by protective brass bars bolted to the helmet. The face plate was much larger and offered more viewing area than the earlier Style 1 DIVINHOODs. The Miller-Dunn DIVINHOOD Style 2 was the US Navy’s first official shallow water diving apparatus, and was part of standard ship’s gear on many naval vessels prior to WWII.

Miller-Dunn was founded by William S. Dunn and William F. Miller in Miami, Florida around 1914 with an emphasis on shallow water diving using helmets and simple equipment that did not require exhaustive training.

The brass plaque on the right side reads, "DIVINHOOD Style 2, Navy Standard, U.S. 1195793 - 1595908 and Foreign Patents, Miller-Dunn Co., Miami, FLA".

The helmet is in very good condition for a helmet of this age that clearly saw use and it has an excellent nice patina. These helmets are among the most desired by collectors of historic diving gear and nautical antiques.



 

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Napoleonic Prisoner of War Bone Spinning Jenny with Nine Figures and Polychrome SOLD

A rare and detailed example of Napoleonic Prisoner of War carving, we have only come across a handful of spinning jennies, worldwide, of this size, quality, condition and number of figures in our 44 year history.

Both wood platforms are covered in patterned straw work. The top platform has five carved figures, all with excellent details and touches of color. A man and woman are seated on high back chairs- she is the spinner and sits in a fine dress and bonnet. The gentleman at her side wears an officer's uniform, with tall plumed hat and his sword in his hand. To his right, another fine lady in a blue dress steps out for a turn on the dance floor. To their right, a couple also stand ready to join the dance. He is also in military uniform with red coat and a green trim which matches his lady's dress.

The lower platform shows two archers with bows at the front, each with a dog at their feet. On the back, two elegant ladies stand in dresses with red polychrome details and pleated petticoats. These figures surround an ornately carved mechanism of gears and levers which control the four actions in the piece. The spinning wheel turns, the seated gentleman raises and lowers his sword and the lady to his right and the couple to the left dance.

Made by prisoners of war, usually French, held in English camps during the Napoleonic Wars, these items seldom survive the centuries since their creation in the late 18th and early 19th century. Most soldiers were conscripts, and had other trades in their lives back home. Prisoners with suitable talents carved highly delicate ship models and artifacts including spinning jennies such as this one, from the bones left over from the prison kitchens along with whatever straw or wood they could find. The prisoners could sell their creations to British officers and the local public, giving them a bit of income and something to while away the time.

Creating such an exquisite piece under the difficult circumstances the craftsman lived under demanded his extreme skill, delicacy and untiring patience. The person who created this piece was clearly one of the most talented craftsman creating these figures. In outstanding condition for its age, this piece has the rare combination of qualities that put it at the top of this art form.


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Napoleonic Ship's Bell from the Brig HMS Mary

With a unique crown top, this is a rare example of a British Naval bell from the Napoleonic Wars. MARY was recorded as a brig of 100 tons, lost in the Battle of the Basque Roads on April 11th, 1809 in an attack on a French Squadron near the Fort of Ile-d'Aix.


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Nickel Plated Presentation Land Hailer

This lacquered nickel plate presentation land hailer is engraved, "Presented by a Friend to R. Talbot". Likely American made.



 

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Pair of Historic Egyptian Islamic Bronze Cannons

La Hitte cannons, made between 1859 and 1870, were a significant improvement to French artillery. These rifled, muzzle loading guns could fire longer and heavier projectiles, twice the weight of traditional round cannonballs, for a given bore, greatly increasing range with only a small increase in gunpowder. It is thought La Hitte guns were the first rifled cannons used on any battlefield.

This exceptional pair of bronze La Hitte cannons are of a type known as Canon de campagne de 4 La Hitte, for the ability to fire a rifled shell of 4kg (8½lbs). An original 4kg zinc studded shell is also included with these cannons. Two cannons of this type are held in the national military museum of France, Musee de l'Armee in Paris.

Both cannons bear the Arabic cypher of Khedive Ismail, or “Isma’il the Magnificent”, ruler of Egypt from 1863–79. Ismail was not a sovereign leader but rather a governor under the ultimate rule of the Ottoman Empire. However, in practice he had great freedom over internal rule of the country. The cannons also bear the Arabic date 1281 which in the Gregorian calendar is 1874.

Given the dates of La Hitte production and the dates on the cannons it is likely these guns were made in France in the 1860’s and later sold or gifted to Egypt. One of the cannons also bears the name “Atbara” stamped in letters of the Latin alphabet. This stamp is more faint and likely not done at the same time as the cyphers. Atbara is a city in the Sudan which was under Egyptian rule at the time which may give a clue as to how these cannons came into Egyptian hands.

Ismail’s uncle and predecessor, Wali Sa’id was educated in France and was an ally of Napoleon III. In the early 1860’s Sa’id sent some of his Sudanese troops to Mexico to support Napoleon’s forces in the Second Franco-Mexican war. It’s possible these cannons made their way home with Sa’id’s forces, marked at this time with only the “Atbara”, which may have been where they were taken.

Alternately, they may have come to Egypt later, directly under Ismail’s rule. Though it was Sa’id and his multiple French connections which ultimately gave the Suez Canal concession to a French company, Sa’id’s passing in 1863, before construction was complete, meant Ismail as new leader was required to ratify the canal agreement. He refused to do so until significant changes were made, increasing costs for the Suez Canal Company. This required Napoleon III to step in and arbitrate between Ismail and the French interests. After agreement was reached, Ismail oversaw the construction of the canal through Egyptian territory.

Ismail had also been educated in France, and as a young man, served as his uncle’s envoy to several European powers. Once in power, Ismail used his involvement in the canal to reenter European society, wishing to see Egypt considered a part of the then more cosmopolitan European culture. The cannons may have been received after Ismail’s visit to Paris in 1867 or when Ismail opened the Suez Canal upon its completion in 1869.

Ismail is best known for his attempts to expand Egyptian territory and see Egypt restored to the glories of its past, reforming it into a more modern and prosperous country and a significant regional power.

These cannon likely saw battle in Ismail’s many expansion campaigns. It’s possible the cyphers and dates were added in celebration of the 1873 decree by the Ottoman Sultan recognizing the full autonomy of Egypt from the government in Constantinople or during his drive to gain territory in Ethiopia and successful annexation of Darfur in 1874.

In later years, these cannons made their way back to Europe when they were purchased by Val Forgett, Jr. for Bapty & Company of London. Established in 1919 Bapty is a well-known supplier of historic and modern weaponry to the Film, Television and Theatre industry. One of these cannon is said to have been featured in the 1962 film “Lawrence of Arabia”.

In outstanding condition, the bores and rifling on both cannons are still sharp. The cannons are mounted on later wheeled stepped carriages with metal accents. Trunnions are marked with Arabic numbers, weights and serial numbers. As shown on our website photos the numbers on the trunnions are in order- 3, 46, 230 and 226.


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Rare Inscribed 18th Century French 1lb Cannon Model 1786

This rare, signed French bronze naval cannon was made in the first years of the Republic, predating Napoleon’s rule by nearly a decade. Few bronze cannons from this period survive and it is even more unusual to find one dated and with the original foundry mark and its original stepped naval carriage.

The cannon is a 1lb., two-inch bore French model 1786 Pierrier, numbered for the year the design was formalized and adopted as a standard. Historians believe that this cannon was the first French standardized model swivel gun. Pierrier were relatively short guns firing medium weight solid shot, designed for close range battering. Pierriers are similar to later carronades. The 1786 Pierrier were so successful they remained in use by the French Navy until 1854.

The top of the muzzle is inscribed with large ornate initials “AN” for Armée Nationale. The cannon is also inscribed that it was made by the Lecourant Foundry in the City of Rennes in the sixth month of the third year/anniversary of the founding of the French Republic (Lecourant a. Rennes en Ventôse, 3me année Républicaine). Ventôse was the sixth month in the French Republican Calendar- it started between 19 February and 21 February and ended between 20 March and 21 March and the third year of the French Republic was 1795.

Only a handful of cannons from the Lecourant Foundry are known to exist. Etienne Lecourant was a bell and cannon founder known to have worked between 1775 and 1832. Historical documents survive that show the Lecourant Foundry of Rennes was commissioned to make military cannon in the late 1790’s. As the capital of Brittany, Rennes was an important center of government and military power. The cannon is also marked on the trunnions, with one side listing the weight as 167lbs. and the other marked “No. 80.”

In this period, bronze cannon were preferable but more costly and time consuming to make and a very small percentage of cannons made in France were bronze, most were iron. An artillery text written in 1780 notes that bronze was nine to ten times as expensive as iron. Unlike iron, bronze doesn't rust, important at sea when rust could make shot stick in the tube. If a cannon were to fail, iron would be a greater danger, likely to shatter and cause damage to men or ship, where bronze artillery would likely only split. Bronze could be cast to tighter tolerances; the tubes could be thinner, saving weight and they tended to be more accurate. Smaller caliber bronze cannon could be used on the top deck forward or aft and aimed at ships pursuing or being pursued by the vessel. Lower cannon decks could take larger caliber guns made of iron; heavier and unlikely to move out of their ports, these would be used for broadside shots amidships.

Any bronze artillery of this age is rare since many were melted down and recast as required for later conflicts. Gun suitable bronze was so desired that not only cannon were taken from defeated foes, but also bells and anything else of copper or brass available were considered fair spoils of battle.

The wood naval carriage is in excellent condition for its age, though two of the wheels have been replaced. This is common as wheels bear most wear over time.

Polished to a bright shine and with all marks deeply cast and clear, this cannon is as impressive visually as it is historically important- a great early example of French naval artillery.


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Rare Small Presentation Cannon on Wooden Carriage

A fine small bronze cannon with multiple tapering stages on a later period stepped wooden British Naval Style carriage, this was made circa 1800. Given the European style and fine workmanship this was likely made at the Lucknow Arsenal under renowned Superintendent of Artillery and Arsenals, Claude Martin. Though French, in a time when Britain and France were at war, Martin worked under the British East India Company. Under Martin's supervision and training many arms of quality were produced at Lucknow by both European and native Indian armorers.

The Siege of Lucknow was the prolonged defense of British East India Company territory within the city of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. After two successive relief attempts had reached the city and fighting of nearly five months, the defenders and civilians were evacuated from their holdings, which were then abandoned. However, the British Army would return the following year and retake the city.

The inscription on the cannon's second reinforce reads:

Taken at the Relief of Lucknow on the 19th November, 1857 By The Naval Brigade
And Presented To Mr. James King by J.W. Bone Esq., Royal Navy
on the 1st. January 1859 As A Token of Respect

H.M.S. SHANNON, a screw powered steam-sail frigate of the Royal Navy, was on her way to join naval forces in the Second China War when she was diverted to Calcutta to form a naval brigade and assist the British Army in opposing the Indian Mutiny. James Bone was an engineer in the first detachment of the brigade.

The SHANNON played an important role in the Indian Mutiny serving at the Battle of Cawnpore, the Relief of Lucknow in November 1857 and the final siege of Lucknow in March 1858. Five Victoria crosses were awarded to men of the Naval Brigade during the campaign. Though we have no record of the deeds done by Mr. King to deserve this recognition, it was surely through skill at deploying much larger pieces of artillery and crews against the Indian forces.

The cannon has excellent details throughout, with raised concentric reinforce rings between each section and a bell-shaped muzzle. This is a great combination of historic importance and elegant presentation for a cannon of this size.



 

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Ship's Figurehead of Admiral Lord Nelson

This 19th Century Ship’s figurehead depicts the most famous British naval officer ever to sail the oceans, Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson. Looking back upon his military career, Nelson’s tactical brilliance and ingenuity were matched by a high level of personal bravery and commitment, all of which endeared him to both king and common man. Even today Nelson is revered- in a recent poll he was voted one of the top ten greatest Britons in all of history.

Nelson was best loved by the men who served under his command at sea, and most were fiercely loyal to the charismatic commander. While he set high standards, he set an example with his own courage and dedication to country and was known as a compassionate leader with genuine regard for his men. Every succeeding generation of British sailors has held up his memory as example and inspiration. It’s no wonder that even within Nelson’s lifetime ships were being named in his honor, and that certainly continued after his death at Trafalgar in 1805.

There are about ten known known figureheads of Lord Nelson, four of which are in museums. This figurehead is far superior to all of them, both in likeness and quality of carving. We have not seen an authentic period figurehead of Nelson come on the market in our 46 years in business. Given the size and quality of the figure this was likely from a merchant Brig, Cutter or Barque of substantial size, 400-600 tons.

Overall the figure is well balanced, with expressive facial features and good proportions in the body. Fine details are present throughout and the carving is deep and well executed. The figure is in excellent condition. There were several wood shrinkage splits from age which have been conserved, and the figure retains some of its original paint. From his dark curling hair, to the pleated folds of his neckcloth, to his fine Naval uniform covered in rank and honors and the flourished base, this is a fine tribute to the Naval hero and an outstanding example of the figurehead maker’s art.

Brief Biography of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson
Born in 1758, he joined the British navy as a twelve year old. By the time he was 21, he was a Captain. He lost an eye at the Siege of Calvi in 1794, and his right arm from a severe wound received in the 1797 battle of Cape St. Vincent. For his dauntless, decisive action to attack a flanking Spanish squadron in this affair, he was made a rear-admiral of the blue squadron.

Nelson’s three most celebrated victories ensured French Emperor Napoleon’s planned invasion of England, and subsequent domination of continental Europe and world colonial trade would fail. First devastating the French ships at the Battle of the Nile in 1798, he continued on to shatter the possible intervention of the Dutch fleet in the Battle of Copenhagen, 1801. His immortality was sealed with his fate on the receiving end of a sharp-shooters aim during his greatest victory, the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. All England mourned his loss- King George III, on receiving the news of both the victory and Nelson’s death, is alleged to have wept saying, "We have lost more than we have gained.”


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Ship's Figurehead of An Elegant Lady from the Schooner "GRACE" of Salcombe

It’s rare to have a group of items survive a shipwreck and pass down through the ages together. In this case the artifacts are from a mid-nineteenth century British schooner and were passed down through the family of the ship’s last captain, primary of which is the ship GRACE’s original figurehead of an elegant lady in fine clothes.

The Schooner GRACE was built 1869 in Kingsbridge, South Devon at the shipyard of William Date, located on Kingsbridge (aka Salcombe) Estuary, off the English Channel. Basil Greenhill, former Director of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich wrote that William Date was “One of the greatest of all the builders of small sailing ships in the West Country. The Date family, (grandfather, father, and two sons) built right through the period and were at the forefront of the development of the merchant schooners.”

At a length of 82’ and breadth of 21’, GRACE weighed in at 103 tons. Like many schooners of the period she was sheathed in Yellow Metal- a version of brass alloy that protected the ship’s wooden hull from rough seas and clinging marine life. Officially the ship was listed as belonging to the home port of Salcombe, six miles to the south of Kingsbridge.

The GRACE’s figurehead has unusually fine carving, particularly in her delicate facial features and in the undulating lines of her jacket and skirt which give the appearance of fabric rather than solid wood. She wears a small brimless hat adorned at the front with a large brooch which holds an impressive white feather plume that curls around the crown of her head. Her hair is arranged in a chignon with two long ringlets trailing from either side, all tied with a yellow ribbon which trails down her back.

Another brooch fastens the collar of her red fitted high collar jacket, bordered in gold and white ribbon trim, with blue and gold epaulettes at the shoulders. At the waist the jacket flares over a full blue skirt which continues down to flourishes at the base, typical of figureheads of this period. In her right hand she clutches a small bouquet of flowers. The curves and proportions feel natural and balanced throughout the figure; clearly the work of a skilled craftsman. She is in excellent condition, with no dry rot.

GRACE had a long career at sea, carrying cargo between various ports for nearly 40 years. In 1907 she sailed from Labrador with a load of cod and in the fall arrived to offload at the port of Exeter. On October 16th she was to be towed the short distance from Exeter to Teignmouth to pick up a load of clay to be taken to Gateshead.

Seas were rough that day and while under tow from the tug QUEEN OF THE EXE, the GRACE struck a sand bar with such force that her rudder post was forced through the wheelhouse, breaking the tow rope. The tug tried to get another line to her, but couldn’t cross the bar and was nearly grounded herself, having to be towed away by a second tug. Meanwhile the GRACE drifted toward The Ness- a red sandstone headland near the village of Sheldon, and was soon on the rocks. Captain George Wyatt, his wife and the crew were rescued by the Coast Guard, helped by onlookers from the shoreline with no loss of life. The ship however, was too far gone to be repaired, and the owner at the time, a Mr. Balkwill of Kingsbridge instructed Wyatt to salvage what he could from the wreck and sell the rest, for which buyers would pay one shilling for all they could haul away in one load.

This figurehead was one of the things the Captain took from the ship, along with his telescope and a small watercolor painting done by one of the crew, a Mr. F. Trout who documented the scene of the wreck. Trout’s older brothers were on the lifeboat pictured, rowing out to the GRACE. The painting is framed and included as is Wyatt’s all brass telescope, signed “Taunton, London - Day or Night”. An excellent collection of historical artifacts from a stalwart vessel of the age of merchant sail.


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Ship's Figurehead of the Goddess Ceres

Ship’s figureheads were used not only to display the power and wealth of the country or merchant who owned the vessel; they were often used to indicate the name of a ship when many, including often sailors, could not read. They were also seen as powerful talismans and good luck charms for the ship and those that sailed within her.

All that is likely true of the figurehead here, of the Roman Goddess Ceres (Greek: Demeter) particularly given the popularity of Roman culture in the Victorian era in which she was carved. The rise and expansion of the British Empire mirrored for many the rise and expansion of the Roman Empire. Latin was commonly taught to the educated Victorian and Classic Rome influenced art, literature and design of the period. Even Queen Victoria’s engagement ring was of Roman design, featuring a coiled snake, a symbol of good luck and eternal love.

A particularly skilled and delicate carving, this figure’s lovely face with fine features sits below abundant, coiled dark hair. Her green and turquoise multilayer stola or Roman dress is richly bordered with gold at the belt, collar, hem and sleeves. Such a thick garment with a border of this type (sometimes call an instita) was a way for Romans to display wealth and is a sign of both the expertise and ability shown by the artisan who created it.

Ceres was the goddess of agriculture, harvest, fertility and marriage. Seen as a protective deity, she was also a symbol of motherhood and abundance. Snakes, like the one coiled around this figure’s left arm, were related to the goddess and she was sometimes depicted riding in a chariot drawn by snakes or holding a caduceus, which in this context would be a symbol of peace. It was also common in the time of Rome’s first Emperor, Augustus (63 BCE–14 CE) to see Ceres depicted with snakes coiled around both arms which would be holding a sheaf of wheat, another key symbol to help the illiterate identify the figure in both Roman and Victorian times. It is likely this figure once held sheaf of wheat in her outstretched right hand.

There are many ships named Ceres in the historical record- several among the U.S., British and French navies and among many merchant ships as early as the 18th century including those of the British East India Company and the China Trade. Which ship CERES this figure once graced is lost to time, but she remains an outstanding example of Victorian art and figurehead carving and artistry.

The figure includes a modern made wood base in the shape of a wave, which allows the figure to be viewed at the optimal angle similar to how it was mounted aboard ship.



 

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Swivel Whaling Harpoon Gun with Harpoon SOLD

We are offering a fantastic swivel-mounted harpoon gun matching the dimensions of the earliest Greener guns introduced in 1837, and used for decades beyond as the first truly successful whaling firearms. Such instruments revolutionized the whaling industry at a time when whale ships were sailing farther and longer in search of their targets. These guns saw much use by American and British whalers in the Arctic and Pacific oceans, where the last great herds of grey, sperm and right whales were hunted.

This particular gun, No. 5 of Peterhead, Scotland is one of the earlier swivel whaling harpoons of the Greener style. Original inlaid brass whales on both sides of the stock add to its attraction, as well as the solid brass sight rail with the inscribed marks “Peterhead No. 5", now partially indiscernible. A brass shroud covers the large single percussion hammer that strikes double cap posts, accenting the heavy iron barrel. The artifact is complete with a rare, double-flanged split-shaft iron harpoon with a ring grommet. The harpoon head is sharply barbed with the intent to keep the massive dart imbedded in its prey. It is further completed with its original iron yoke.

The harpoon gun would be mounted to the bow of a working whale boat, and a rope line attached to the metal sliding ring set in the split-shank harpoon, and the rope would be tied to the craft at the other end. The gun made catches possible which had escaped the whalemen of earlier ages, with its range of up to 84 yards, and capable of firing over the obstacle of solid ice in the Arctic. Large grain gunpowder would be used for the percussion cap weapon to ensure a slower, steady burn, giving a smoother flight for the harpoon, especially in calm lagoons and shallows. A significant historic artifact instrument from the heart and height of 19th Century whaling.


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Trinity Sewing Box with Three Masted Ship

In outstanding condition, this sewing box was made by British Lighthouse keepers of the Trinity Lighthouse Service and were marketed directly to the sailing captains and owners of the ships they aided.

With a name plaque marked, "Marjorie", a heart shaped escutcheon and detailed inlays, this box was likely a gift to fine lady to use as her sewing box. The wood displays subtle coloration throughout and excellent workmanship. The inside papers retain their blue color with gold decoration. Includes the original key.

Six compartments, each with decorated lid with bone handle, surround a central black velvet pincushion. The top layer lifts off to access a larger open compartment underneath.


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U.S. Navy Bronze 12lb. Light Dahlgren Boat Howitzer

Known as the “Father of American Naval Ordnance” John A. Dahlgren (1809-1870) was a United States Naval officer and engineer, Commander of the Washington Naval Yard during the Civil War and founder of the Navy’s Bureau of Ordnance.

Dahlgren began studying artillery in the 1840’s seeking improvements to cannon range, accuracy and safety. Known for his scientific approach and methodical experimentation, his assignment to the US Naval Yard in Washington D.C. afforded the perfect location to centralize design and production. He created the first naval foundry there soon after and the first of his innovations to come forth was the 12lb. Light Dahlgren Boat Howitzer such as this 1871 example.

In the early years of the US Navy, ships’ artillery were primarily repurposed guns made to Army requirements for land warfare. Boats were often outfitted with whatever could be found, from new weapons to old scrap pieces, none made for firing from the deck of a ship. After the Mexican-American War (1846-48) it was clear that the lack of standard purpose built guns was hurting Naval readiness.

In 1848 then Lieutenant Dahlgren was tasked with evaluating army mountain howitzers to see if they could be used on small boats and then carried onshore in support of landing operations. Finding these lacking, Dahlgren designed a series of bronze smooth bore muzzle-loading boat howitzers that could be mounted in ships’ launches and cutters as well as being mounted onto field carriages. By 1849 Dahlgren had made the first 12lb “Light” Boat Howitzer. This was the smallest of the first designs, meant for sloops and any other boat which could not bear the weight of a larger cannon.

All of the boat howitzers were similar in design- a clean bronze tube with a slight taper at the muzzle end, no rings or other decoration. Rather than swiveling on trunnions, they featured a mounting lug or loop on the bottom of the barrel and an elevating screw running through the cascabel. Having the single mounting lug expedited moving the howitzer from the launch to field carriage and back. The howitzers were designed to be fired by a special bronze percussion lock, a new technology just entering naval use.

The design was such a success that Dahlgren would create six sizes of Boat Howitzers in all, and they were in demand on Naval ships for decades. Some were even carried by the US Army into land combat, and were known to have been fired at the First Battle of Bull Run and on the Antietam Campaign.

Dahlgren would go on to design a range of large deck mounted shell firing iron cannons crucial to the Union Navy during the Civil War both aboard ship and for shore installations. With vastly increased range and accuracy the Dahlgren gun became the Navy's standard armament.

This Boat Howitzer gun has the detailed and clear marks of identification and measurements that were Dahlgren’s preference. The center top of the tube is engraved with a rope and anchor motif and reads 12 PDR / BOAT HOWITZER /1871 / F.M.R. – at the base of the tube near the breech it reads: DAHLGREN / U.S.N.Y. WASHINGTON / 428 LBS. 25 PRE, No. 167. PRE refers to preponderance weight- how heavy the breech is when you lift it when pivoted at the center of the barrel’s trunnion loop.

The mark U.S.N.Y. Washington identifies it as made at the US Naval Yard in Washington D.C. These cannon were also known to bear the initials of the US Naval Ordnance Inspector. The date and initials, 1871 F.M.R., on the cannon refer to Francis Munroe Ramsay who in 1871 was a Commander in ordnance at U.S.N.Y. in D.C.

Over his 40+ year career Ramsay had many postings and commands. He first distinguished himself during the Civil War and went on to command several vessels, lead multiple land expeditions and to oversee the Naval Yards in both New York and Boston. Ten years after this cannon was made Ramsay would become Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. By the time he retired in 1894 he had reached the rank of Real Admiral and was serving as the Navy’s Chief of the Bureau of Navigation.

The muzzle of the cannon is marked HL. Many other surviving Boat Howitzers from the USNY D.C. are known to bear similar two letter combinations on the muzzle and it’s believed to be a foundry code of some sort, though the exact meanings haven’t been found in Naval records to date.

Over time the Navy came to favor the heavier and larger bore Boat Howitzers. So while the Light variety were in production for more than 20 years, relatively few were made- about 180 with only 20 guns still known to exist today.

The Dahlgren boat howitzers continued to serve long after the Civil War and were only phased out near the beginning of the 20th century, with the arrival of light breech loading steel rifles and machine guns.

Overall this is an excellent example of this rare piece of Naval history in very good condition with clear markings and a smooth bore. Presented on a bespoke naval style wood and brass carriage.



 

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U.S. Navy Diving Air Pump Mark III by Morse

This manually operated, Mark III dual cylinder dive air pump was made by Morse Diving of Boston for the United States Navy. Two sets of handles can be attached to the side wheels for operators, usually one on each side, to turn and pump air from the internal cylinders to a hose system connected to the diver.

The amount of air provided was controlled manually- operators would monitor the pump's pressure gauges to determine how quickly to turn the wheel in order to provide the diver with sufficient air for their depth. At the time this pump was made the diver was also able to communicate back to the surface through a wired telephone system in the hard hat dive helmet, and could comment on the air supply.

In very good condition, one of the nicest and most complete dive pumps we've ever had.

Marked Morse and U.S. Navy in multiple locations:
- Exterior front, Eagle plaque: U.S. Navy Standard Diving Air Pump Mark III, Morse Diving Equipment Co. Inc., Boston Mass., No. 30, Date: 4/20/42
- Interior, pistons are both stamped Morse, Boston, Made in U.S.A., 30. Left piston also stamped USN.
- Additional Morse plaques interior on pump support and on the "Water Supply" hatch, on the reverse exterior.
- Right pressure gauge marked Morse. Left pressure gauge marked Ashcroft American, Bridgeport Conn.
-The interior also includes the original US Navy Diving Apparatus use and maintenance instruction label. Marked Morse, 470 Atlantic Ave., Boston, Mass.
- Includes second set of handles, not shown
- Also included inside the pump- one left air hose oil separator, three wrenches, gaskets, eye hooks and a tin of grease. There's also some packing cordage for sealing.

Dimensions: 51 1/2 inches from base to top of wheel, width without crank arms 41 1/2 inches, long crank arms 31 1/4 inches, shorter crank arms 21 3/4. Wheel diameter 35 1/2 inches.


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US Navy - Miller Dunn Shallow Water Diving Hood Style 3

This WWII era shallow water dive helmet is in excellent condition with original front and back weights. The whole dive helmet has a great patina.


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US Navy Morse/DESCO Mark V Dive Helmet No. 927/4231

This United States Navy Mark V helmet is a unique and modified combination of bonnet and breastplate which identifies it as a helmet that was in heavy use.

The breastplate is a 1944 Morse with a serial number 927, identified with Morse maker's plate along with a US Navy anchor stamp. The bonnet is a 1941 DESCO serial number 4231. US Navy Mark V diving equipment was a standard military specification manufactured by several suppliers, including DESCO and Morse, so parts were compatible enough to put together as needed, extending the useful life of a vital piece of dive gear. Part of the Standard Diving Dress, helmets of this type were generally used in ship repair and maintenance along with recovery, salvage, demolition and other tactical operations.

Founded 100 years apart, Morse in 1837 and DESCO in 1937, the two companies merged in 2016. We recently sent this helmet to DESCO/A.J. Morse Diving for repair and they helped identify and date the breastplate and bonnet from their archives.



 

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USN Morse Mark V Dive Helmet, Suit and Gear

The most complete, all original, dive set we've ever had- this helmet, suit and gear formed the United States Navy's Standard Diving Dress generally used in ship repair and maintenance along with recovery, salvage, demolition and other tactical operations.

Included are:
- Morse Mark V helmet with plaque: A.J. Morse & Sons Inc., Boston, Mass Serial #2749, Date: Rec 39. There are matching serial numbers #2749 on the collar and brail. Includes air hose with air control valve, attached at rear of helmet and secured to helmet collar.
-Canvas and rubber dive suit, obviously saw use as the piece is patched in several places.
- Canvas, brass and lead weighted dive boots with leather strap.
- Leather weight belt with 10 lead weights
- Bronze Morse Mark V Spanner Wrench for helmet, marked D
- Dive Knife with Bronze Sheath- marked KA-BAR, Reg. US Pat. Off./Union Cutlery Co., Olean, NY. Utilizes triple start thread, allowing the diver to insert the knife in any orientation, rotate to engage the threads and lock the knife into the sheath.
- Bronze and metal underwater gas cutting torch, marked M.U. 450
- Bronze underwater flashlight.


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Very Rare Bronze British Naval Rail Carronade

It’s extremely unusual to find this type of Naval swivel gun in bronze. It has a striking green patina and is mounted on a later Naval style stepped base, that has been painted black. The embossed crown on the barrel is 2 inches tall by 2 ½ inches wide. Circa 1820.

This swivel gun has a loop on the cascabel and its muzzle is tapered. These details are typical of carronades. Instead of a bottom loop, its trunnions are set below the center line of the cannon, in a manner consistent with gunnades. Carronades and gunnades were very effective in ship to ship fighting. These short, sturdy weapons were desirable because they didn’t use much deck space, yet were very formidable in battle. The shots scattered widely causing a lot of destruction.

This cannon was slotted for a gun rack, which is common in military cannons. The gun has a rarely seen mortise for a flint gunlock ignition system. In very good condition overall.

Gun and Carriage are 36 Inches Wide Overall. Height of Gun and Carriage are 22 Inches Overall. Bore is 4 Inches Wide.


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Winchester Brass Presentation Signal Cannon 1976 Edition

In 1975 the Bellmore Johnson Tool Company (then) of Hamden, Connecticut, obtained licensing rights from the Winchester Division of the Olin Corporation to revive production of the Winchester signal cannon after an absence of 17 years. At the time the Bellmore-Johnson Tool Company specialized in the design, engineering and prototyping of firearms. The reissuing of the Winchester Cannon was well received in the firearms community and was featured in two separate articles in the November 1976 issue of Gun World magazine.

This particular model was the first release of the partnership and was timed to commemorate the U.S. Bicentennial. With a solid brass barrel and undercarriage and housed in mahogany storage box with brass plaque and details. The box base is detachable and serves as display stand and firing base.

This is a working signal cannon which can be fired with 10 gauge blanks. Serial number 000648.The top plaque remains blank as it would have come from the factory.



 

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12 Bolt Dive Helmet by Yokohama Diving of Japan

With an excellent patina, this 12 bolt dive helmet is a great example of hard hat dive gear that was used and modified over many years. Though the maker's plaque is missing we were able to identify this helmet as a Yokohama helmet with significant modifications. DESCO concurred with this as well. Modifications are not unusual, particularly in helmets like this one that saw heavy use. As parts wore out or new innovations came along helmets would be modified to extend their useful life.

The side windows with crossed covers and smaller breastplate along with the large front window are consistent with other examples of Yokohama helmets. It appears that the spitcock valve is from another Japanese maker, TOA Diving Equipment Ltd.

The Yokohama Diving Apparatus Company was founded in 1860. Though the company is no longer in business it made dive gear for more than 120 years.


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American 10 Gauge Breech Loading Signal Cannon

This working signal cannon is very similar to those made by the Strong Manufacturing Company of Connecticut, a leading manufacturer of the same period. With an excellent patina and on a period carriage.


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Bronze Breech-Loading Bronze Whaling Gun by Ebenezer Pierce

Rare American cast bronze Bomb Lance Shoulder Whaling Gun and Projectile Dart. This style of shoulder firing whaling gun would expel an explosive projectile bomb lance. This Ebenezer Pierce designed-gun had improvement such as the dual pin levers to open the breech to load the cartridge and lance, and a hollow at the bottom of the pistol grip that would let a wielder use a support for aiming and firing. Pierce first patented a bronze breech load shoulder gun with Selmar Eggers in 1878, and alone again in 1882, this particular model has no serial number or marking, making it one of the first in production of this second type. Late, Frank E. Brown would take over production of the Pierce Whaling Guns manufacturing, and advertise heavily their superior function.

Having a Pierce Bomb Lance, circa 1879, accompanying this artifact whaling firearm is a big plus, as it is bronze and has the remnant of the feather flights.



 

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Carved Gangway Board with Anchor and Crown

This finely carved, early ship's gangway board is carved of an exotic hardwood with a rich, dark patina. Woods like this were commonly used aboard ships for their durability and resistance to pests.

In place on its ship, this board would have been placed on the side of a ship’s sally port where a gangplank would be laid for boarding the ship formally, or above a ladder installed on the outer hull. Setting out these decorative boards was the equivalent of rolling out a "red carpet" of welcome, meant to impress those coming aboard.

The naval crown at the top signifies that this board was used aboard a naval vessel, though we are unsure of the country of origin. Several British Naval groups or former territories have used this symbol. A naval crown is heraldic symbol made up of a gold crown or circlet topped with alternating motifs of ship's prows or sterns and sails. Inside the crown sit two long weapons- a trident on the right and a glaive or pole arm on the left. The pole arm has a dolphin motif on the blade. Below the crown is an anchor with twined rope. Carved around the outside is a twisted rope border with a leaf motif in each corner. Slight traces of the original gilt remain on the border. Signed A.S. verso.

Each carved area of this board is in deep relief and is well defined. In very good condition for its age, and at nearly two inches thick, this is a solid artifact that presents very well in person.

The detailed photos are shown in high contrast so that the carving detail is more visible online. The actual patina in the wood is shown best in the front view of the entire board.


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Cased Pair of French Dueling Pistols with Liege Proof Marked Balledent Epernay

A very fine pair of French 54 caliber percussion cap dueling pistols with tools and accessories including several lead balls. In very good condition and housed in their original dark purple velvet lined mahogany case with excellent grain and brass detail. The outside of the case bears the name Combal, and initials P.C.

The guns have very good patination with a Damascene finish on the barrels. One of the guns bears the proof mark of Liege, Belgium or d'épreuves de Liège (ELG). Silver accents on both guns are engraved with flowers and scrollwork, with particularly excellent work under the trigger guard and underside of the gun. Of the accessories, the flask is notable for a scene of a wolf and crane on both sides, likely referring to Aesop's Fable of the same name, where a crane helps a mean and greedy wolf, only to be denied promised payment for the service. Aesop's moral was a warning about expecting rewards for helping those without scruples.


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H.E. Boucher Live Steam Model

This live steam model of a propeller driven motor yacht was made by H.E. Boucher Inc. of New York, circa 1910. With wood hull painted black and red, the model retains three original maker’s plaques- on the stern, boiler and forward on another engine section. Models like this one were some of the finest toys available in the period, sold through retailers like F.A.O. Schwartz.

Horace E. Boucher (1874-1935) graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Ct, and in 1890 began studying to be a naval architect at the naval base in Washington. His gift with models led to his being put in charge of the U.S. Naval Model Shop.

In 1905, Boucher established his own naval model-making studio in New York City, starting with professional models of high quality and accuracy including some builder’s dockyard models. A few years later, he moved into mass-producing cast fittings and putting them together as wooden scale model boat kits of sailing yachts and power boats. Models like this were very popular with boys of the time and with their fathers as a hobby both could enjoy.

In the pictures for this item we have an image of a period Boucher advertisement showing a similar model.



 

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Iron Armada Strong Box

A stout iron, artisan-blacksmith made "Armada Chest", circa 1690, it includes keys to outer and inner locks. Used by numerous nations, militaries and merchants, these Strong Boxes often were the repositories of the most valuable of possessions, and often had additional padlocks held by other parties so no one person could open.

This specific box has a decorative scroll-cut cover over in locking mechanism on the underside of the lid. There is old paint, a crusty-creamy yellow that someone once long ago thought was a good idea. We're not sure we agree, but it has such age and thickness that we're not considering modifying it. The paint existent on the outside of the chest, a swarthy deep-sea-green, is a plus, accenting the heavy cross-hatched iron construction and forged bolts. These artifact iron chests are highly sought after and accent any historic collection.


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Pair of American Civil War Style Bronze Mortars

First developed in the 17th century, the Coehorn Mortar was designed as a mobile siege weapon, light enough to be carried by two soldiers and brought close to a target to fire a bomb in a short, high arc over walls or other obstacles. Named for its inventor Dutch Baron Menno van Coehoorn (1641-1701), these mortars were made to outwit advances in fortifications which made them harder to breach by direct artillery fire- sending bombs over rather than trying to go through.

In the United States, Coehorn Mortars were made in both 12 and 24lb versions for use in the Revolutionary War, though both fell out of manufacture soon after. Coehorn mortars were brought back into American manufacture and military use in 1838 with an updated 24lb. design and were made through the end of the Civil War. Mounted on a four handled wooden “bed”, a mortar could be carried by two soldiers but moved quickly by four. Mounting mortars on wheels was impractical as the high angle of fire creates substantial downward force on the recoil, enough to quickly break most wheeled carriages.

The Coehorn 24lb mortar could fire its standard 16.8lb. shell with ½lb of powder at ranges of 20 to 1,200 yards. Even if the maximum distance wasn’t needed, firing high was a tactical advantage, allowing gravity to increase a bomb’s impact. Per the 1863 “HAND-BOOK OF ARTILLERY, FOR THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES” by Joseph Roberts the principal advantage of a mortar was by: "Reaching objects by their vertical fire—such as a town, battery, or other place—whose destruction or injury cannot be effected by direct or ricochet fire; dismounting the enemy’s artillery; setting fire to and overthrowing works; blowing up magazines; breaking through the roofs of barracks, casemates, & and producing havoc and disorder amongst troops."

The Handbook also states that five men were required to service the Coehorn mortar- three to fire and another two for transport and to prepare ammunition.

Demand for Coehorn mortars only increased as the war went on; U.S. General U.S. Grant wrote that they were very useful in trench warfare, more common in later engagements.

Both cannons are marked “Smith’s Battery, Norfolk, Virginia” on one trunnion and “First Regiment Virginia Volunteers” on the other. One is also dated 1861 on both trunnions. The cannons are also marked on the muzzle fillets “Smiths” and one is numbered 1-2 and the other 1-3.

We believe these are from the 1970’s and were used by the North-South Skirmish Association in re-enactments. The First Virginia Volunteer reenactors likely used these to compete in mortar competitions. They are very well made and are in excellent condition with a great patina. These have a very "period" look about them.

It is believed that these remain fireable. However, we strongly recommend that any cannon to be fired be checked out by a firearms expert to assure safety before firing is attempted.

Bore 5.82 inches, Tube: 16” length, Trunnion to trunnion: 17”
Powder chamber 3” deep, 2” at widest
Weight with bed approx. 300lbs.


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Rare First-Generation Swivel Whaling Harpoon Gun

A rare and impressive whaling gun from the earliest period of firearm innovation in the fishing industry, this English Whaling Harpoon Gun is a stout and serious instrument that revolutionized whaling. Made by George Wallis of Hull, he is recognized as the first successful maker of the swivel-mounted harpoon gun, circa 1800. The author William Scoresby indicates this period to have been 1772-1792, while other later sources credit the invention to 1800-1815.

When originally made, this Wallis gun had two flintlock hammers that worked off a single trigger, and have long ago been converted to two dual-percussion cap hammers, that would have lanyard triggers threaded out the locks to be fired simultaneously, ensuring the firing of the harpoon. With a full charge, it had an accurate range up to 40 yards. The name Wallis of Hull is on the iron barrel, amongst the heavy aged pitting, deep rust and signs of use under an old remnant of black oil paint. The left brass hammer compartment is marked “SHIP”.

Owning a deadly presence, the gun barrel is a stout 30½ inches in length with a 2½ inch diameter with a 1¾ inch bore, while the overall harpoon gun is 43¼ inches, plus the split-shaft barbed harpoon with ring for line attachment. The English Society of the Arts had paid premiums to whalemen and artisans in the 1790s and early 1800s for those showing innovation and improvement in the use of the guns and harpoons. When William Greener substantially changed the design and powder of this type of harpoon gun in 1837, the new styles became known as Greener guns. This older gun was kept in use during this period, as indicated by its conversion.



 

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Rare Large Figurehead from a Full Rigged Ship  SOLD

An impressively large, well carved 19th Century figurehead, this figure was in service during the most important Age of Sail, the 19th Century era of the Clipper Ships. This artifact has the large size and proper positioning of the plugs to have been the centerpiece of the bow on one of the great ships.

Clearly a Scotsman in full Highland gear, this figure likely graced the bow of a clipper built on the Clyde River, near Glasgow. By the mid-1700’s Glasgow had become one of the most important port cities in England, mainly for tobacco from the American Colonies. With the outbreak of the American War of Independence the tobacco trade collapsed, and shipbuilding was established to replace the trade and revenue lost to war.

It was a perfect and timely turn of events. Scottish engineering expertise was already famous worldwide, Glasgow was a bustling trade port and decades of progress improving the Clyde’s shipping channel near Glasgow made setting up shipyards on the riverbanks an easy choice. By the 1800’s the Clyde had a reputation for being the best location for shipbuilding in the British Empire, and grew to become the world's pre-eminent shipbuilding center. “Clydebuilt” was a mark of the finest ships to sail.

What better to grace the bows of Scotland’s prized ships, than the heroes of her past- bringing the pride of Scotland wherever her ships sailed. From the tartan on his kilt and hose, we believe this figure to be Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734). Though not normally a MacGregor tartan, this was the plaid Rob Roy wore in all portraits done during his lifetime, and it was thereafter named for him.

Sometimes called Scotland’s Robin Hood, Rob Roy was known for brave exploits against what many Scots felt was tyrannical and unjust British rule. A known Jacobite, he participated in early rebellions to restore the House of Stuart to the throne of Scotland.

Rob Roy was famous in his own time, but he skyrocketed to legend in 1812 when author Sir Walter Scott published the somewhat fictionalized biography “Rob Roy”. The book was popular for decades, and likely inspired the carver who created this figurehead. His kilt, hose and sporran are long tradition, but the dark blue jacket, waistcoat, wide collar shirt with Ruche Tie and Glengarry Bonnet with Cockade rosette and trailing ribbons were the height of style in the 1850’s. It’s this high attention to every detail of the complex Highland clothing of nobility that shows how important this figurehead was to its builders and ship.

Each curve of this figure gives the impression of power and grace. His face is strong, raised high and looking up, with curling hair and mutton chop beard. His kilt is swept back in folds, as he steps forward in action. Fine carving gives lifelike detail on every part of this figurehead, from the tufts of fur on the sporran to the creases in his waistcoat, wrinkling like real cloth as he stretches out to point skyward. With excellent proportion throughout, this is a skilled portrait of a man at the height of his strength. Assured and commanding, this is a leader.

The raised right arm was made to be removed, a practical feature when rough seas could easily snap off the outstretched limb. The arm would have been reattached when entering a port or at anchor. Included is the sturdy iron stand to which this 850lb. figure can be attached so that it stands at the same angle as it would have been seen on its ship.

In great condition, with no rot, this figure has many rare touches of its original paint. Full sized figureheads of this quality and size are amongst the rarest of marine artifacts. His years of service at sea have only added to his dignified and imposing appearance. One of the finest figureheads we have offered.


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1905 Battle of Trafalgar Centenary Plaque

This copper plaque mounted on lacquered pine, was made to mark the 100 year anniversary of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson's final and greatest victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.

By the time this centenary was celebrated in 1905, Nelson's flagship HMS VICTORY was already being preserved at Portsmouth Naval Yard as both a national treasure and as the flagship for the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Navy, a title she retains to this day as the oldest commissioned warship in the world. The title is largely ceremonial; to preserve the ship, launched in 1765, she is in permanent dry dock.

In 1903, VICTORY was accidentally rammed at Portsmouth, requiring extensive repairs to prepare for the Trafalgar centenary celebrations in 1905. As a result, some of her over 4,000 sheets of copper hull sheeting were recycled into souvenirs for the centenary celebrations. Markings on this plaque reveal that this was one such artifact.

The plaque has a large anchor, with rope medallion containing an image of the HMS VICTORY at sea, and is marked for King Edward VII, the reigning monarch at the time. The plaque reads:

Nelson's Victory
Presented by the British & Foreign Sailor's Society.
Containing Victory Copper from the Lords of Admiralty.
England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty
October 21, 1805 - October 21, 1905
Centenary Memento, ERVII

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Brass Bound Camphor Sea Chest

A very fine sailor's sea chest made of Camphor, the wood most desired by both sailors and collectors as it is the most durable and does not rot. The wood from which this chest is constructed has excellent grain and finish made better by dovetail construction and brass reinforcements at the corners. The ropework beckets are well made with polychrome detail.



 

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British Naval Dirk

This long thrusting dagger would have been on the belt of a British naval officer and used as a hand-to-hand weapon during a boarding party or for personal defense.

A brass mounted hilt with gilt remnants and bone grip top a straight tapering fullered blade. This is a rare early and elegant piece of naval weaponry.

A naval dirk like this one is in the collection of Britain's National Maritime Museum Greenwich, London.


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Dive Boots

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English Box Lock Percussion Blunderbuss Pistol SOLD

A rare small box lock percussion blunderbuss pistol in very good condition. The gun features a brass barrel with silver inlay on the grip and a flip bayonet with working action. Decorative touches throughout including engraving on both sides of the barrel and under the trigger guard.



 

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Heavy Brass American Channel Lamp

A rare heavy brass signaling lamp with red inner lens and glass fresnel outer lens. Marked Interflash Signal Corp., New York, Type LM20A, No. 3236.


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Iron and Brass Line Throwing Cannon by McKeever Daley

This rare Iron and Brass Line Throwing Cannon would have been used in rescues at sea during the early 20th century. The cannon bears two brass maker's plaques, one from McKeever Daley of Baltimore, MD and one from Heat Transfer Products of New York. McKeever Daley line throwers are more rare and desired by collectors.

It's all complete and appears to be in good working order. However, if you want to fire it, we recommend that it first be checked out by a firearms expert for safety.

With a 2.5 Inch bore, the barrel length is 28 Inches. The cannon bears matching serial numbers, A-68, on both plaques. This is the first line throwing cannon we have had with the ramrod included. It has nice accents of polished brass.

West Point graduate David A. Lyle (1845-1937) was the inventor of this type of gun. These guns were used primarily for shore-based rescue operations. The cannon would fire a line to the distressed party and allow for the person to pull themselves back to safety.


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Large Bronze VOC Style Cannon -East Indian Company

Inscription reads: PSEEST:A:1765. - VOC

Correct weight for its size.



 

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Live Steam Walking Beam Engine Model

This very detailed builder's quality working live steam walking beam engine model is mounted on a striking checkerboard foundation set atop a mahogany base. The small ladder leads to a catwalk overlooking the engine's interior. Marked with brass maker's label: H. Vernon


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Pine Sea Chest Associated with the Ship TARANAKI of 1877

This well made sailor's sea chest is constructed of yellow pine with rope beckets. The wood grain is excellent and shows signs of once being painted. Inside the lid is the portrait of a clipper ship under full sail with the inscription: As she shone in the light of declining day: each sail was set and each heart was gay." The painting is marked with the initials G.V. Also inside the chest is a small ditty box also with painted lid.

By tradition this chest is associated with the Clipper TARANAKI, built in 1877 by Robert Duncan & Company, Greenock, Scotland- best known as the builders of the first Cunard liner BRITTANIA.

Built for Shaw, Savill and Albion Company, TARANAKI was 1126 tons, and her length 228 feet. Known as a fast trade ship TARANAKI was known to have made 24 voyages between New Zealand and England, the last of which was in 1914.

A photo of the TARANAKI is shown here for historical reference and comparison to the painting inside the chest which appears to be the ship. The chest comes with some material printed from online sources with a history of the ship which details her voyages and some diary entries of a crew member. Photos of the ship at shore and under sail are interspersed, including some harrowing shots of the ship in heavy seas with the deck swamped by the waves.


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Rare Enoch Hidden New York Salute Cannon SOLD

Rare signed brass yacht salute cannon by American manufacturer, Enoch Hidden. It is totally complete and original. The cannon is marked on the trunnion with the maker name and address: “E.S. HIDDEN / COR AV.C & 12 ST / NY.” The carriage is solid and includes the original hardware. In outstanding condition. Circa 1850s.

The cannon is polished and lacquered and has an unusual, fully functional, percussion hammer that was operated by a lanyard. Percussion hammers of this type were perfected and patented by Enoch Hidden in 1842. Hidden developed the hammers from an earlier, 1831 design. As early as 1813, he was making cannon locks from flint. Hidden’s early locks were used on the “USS President” in 1814.

Hidden manufactured his locks and sold them to the U.S. Army and Navy. They have a unique pulley and wheel system that goes off with striking force. A superb article on the subject, titled “Enoch Hidden and His Cannon Locks” was written by Fred Gaede and appears in in “Arms Collecting,” Vol. 36, No 4.

Tube is 19 Inches Long. Length is Approximately 27 Inches Overall. Cannon is 14 Inches Wide Overall. 16 Inches Tall Overall. Bore is 1 1/4 Inches Wide. Weight is 56 1/2 Pounds.



 

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Rare Pair of Large Carved Marine Figures, Circa 1870 SOLD

This outstanding pair of carved figures depicting American sailors are typical of maritime themed decor aboard elegant transatlantic steamships of the period. No doubt this pair were the focal point aboard one of these ships in a luxury salon or public room. Carved of pine, they are stained in a medium dark tone with the nice patina of aged wood.

The 1870's heralded a new age of elegance in ocean travel with the first ocean liners. Technological innovations like the screw propeller, the compound engine, and the triple-expansion engine made steamships more profitable for cargo and passengers. The White Star Line led the way in 1870 with the launch of the steam-sail ship R.M.S. Oceanic known for its first-class cabins amidships, large portholes, electricity and running water. Other lines would follow suit, and passengers increasingly expected fine amenities and refined decor, tasking skilled artisans to outfit their ships with unique pieces like these figures.

One sailor raises his hand in salute, his gaze intent and serious. The other smiles- relaxed in a more easy posture, smoking. Both sport mutton chops under their felt caps. The smoking sailor's cap has trailing ribbons but neither bears a tally, a ribbon painted or embroidered with their ship's name. These men wear the everyday uniform of the sailor at his post, and the tally was generally worn only on formal dress uniforms.

The carver's excellent workmanship shows in the flowing lines of each figure's clothing. Typical of the enlisted sailor, the men wear a full cut shirt topped with wide lapels under which sits a knotted kerchief, all common to sailors of the period. A sash at the waist leads to a stylized fan of oak leaves at the base of each figure. On the sides, each bears deeply carved swirl motifs, commonly seen in figureheads and billetheads to add movement and reference the sea itself.

A rare example of the decorative maritime arts, these figures recall an era of elegance in travel aboard ship.

The painting shown at between the figures in the first image is "Romantic Observations" by Henry Bacon. You can see more photos of this work here


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Trinity House Box, British Steam-Sail Ship With Lighthouse Off The Bow

Replaced shelf inside. Crushed blue velvet lined.

Trinity House was the name for the light house service in Great Britain. These exquisite boxes were made circa 1850- 1880 by the keepers of the lighthouses and lightships while they were on station. They are delicately inlaid with several types of wood and usually feature accurate pictures of vessels from the period. They were marketed directly to the sailing captains and owners of the ships they aided. Fine inlaid woodwork is a telltale attribute of their learned craft, with parquetry and marquetry examples in existence. The Trinity House Box, for letter writing, sewing, and tea storage are very desired.


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View of Westpoint, Sunderland Pottery, Cup and Saucer

Size: Saucer: 5 3/8 " wide x 1 1/4" deep- Cup: 4" Wide x 2 3/8" deep.



 

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AJ Morse Shallow Water Dive Helmet and Bronze Pump

This Morse Shallow Water Dive Helmet and the pump were used by the Warwick, Rhode Island Fire Department to teach diving to the officers.

The tag and style on both pieces place the date of manufacture from the mid-1920's to the early 1940's when the Morse company name was changed. The helmet is numbered on the top of the faceplate 217 3785. The faceplate is glass.

The pump also bears the A.J. Morse & Sons Plaque and the serial #2294. Besides the wood handle the pump is all bronze.


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British Naval Dirk With Bone Handle SOLD

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Child's Percussion Cap Rifle


 

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Flintlock Blunderbuss with Spring Loaded Bayonet, made by Archer

29 3/4 inches long, 38 3/4 inches long with Bayonet open.


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Henry Nock, English Flintlock Rifle

A rare flintlock rifle by one of Britain's finest makers.


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High Quality British Naval Sword with Scabbard  SOLD

A British Naval sword of high quality, likely belonging to a high ranking officer. The handle is bone with silver plate and features a lion's head on the pommel. The guard or branch features a rope and anchor motif. The sword includes its leather and silver scabbard, including a band with an image of Brittania in a traditional pose, seated on her shield embossed with the Union Jack



 

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Humphreys American Homeopathic Remedies Kit With Manual

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Iron Arctic Harpoon
Includes original rope and harpoon cone.

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Large American Gas Accumulator Channel Light

A very large an unusual size American Navigation Aid, this Gas Accumulator Channel Light is quite a spectacular presence, even less than complete. Heavy aged brass holds most of the original glass triangular panels, and a more modern center fresnel lens. Some existent paint of white still remains on the glazed window frames, and the brass has turned to a deep tone with its age. Purchased in the late 20th Century from a northern California farm. How it got there is your story to tell.



 

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Napoleonic Prisoner Of War Cribbage Board with Domino Set

Dimensions: 9 3/4 inches long x 5 1/4 inches wide x 2 1/4 inches high.

Is lacking 1/2 of a lid.


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Teakwood Desk Set

Made of teakwood taken from the ship H.M.S.COLLINGWOOD.

With compliments of C.W. Kellock & Co. London & Liverpool.


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12 Inch Brass Ships Bell From The Vessel AMERICA 1891

A brass bell from the Sailing Barque AMERICA, 1891. Also shown is a painting done of the ship by artist William H. Yorke, for reference.

12 Inches wide, 11 Inches High



 

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A.J. Morse & Sons Dive Helmet SOLD

This nice, early commercial diving helmet bears two plaques: the maker's plaque- "A.J. Morse & Son, Inc., Boston, Mass." and beneath it the distributor's plaque, "Supplied by Mussens Limited Agents, Montreal, Canada".

The helmet is in excellent condition with a nice patina, very clean and complete.

The helmet bears matching serial numbers 1846 on the front and rear brails, and on the bonnet and breastplate. The front and rear brails are also stamped with additional maker's marks, "A.J. Morse & Son, Boston". Interestingly there are additional hand tooled marks on the brail the diver must have added for his own reference: RF, LF, RR and LR for right front, left front, right rear and left rear.


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Antique Ships Wheel Coffee Table With American Brass Lamp Base

Heavy iron hub with polished brass ring. The American brass lamp base is electrified and working.

Dimensions: 17 3/8" high x 54" wide wheel- The base lamp is 11 1/2" wide.


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Bronze New England Darting Whaling Harpoon

This bronze whaling harpoon is similar in style to the Provincetown Toggle Harpoon, though without the toggle action, so it may have been a precursor in design. With its smaller head and narrow shaft it was likely used to hunt smaller Cetaceans like Pilot Whales.



 

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Fresnel Primary Fourth Order Lens

Lens has 10 prismatic rings, a few with chips, and the aged cut glass has a very slight yellow aged tint.

European, once in place as an aid to navigation near Bourgas in Bulgaria, on the Black Sea, circa 1890s.


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Name Board off Hudson River Steamboat MARY POWELL

Nicknamed, "Queen of the Hudson" for her speed and grand style, the sidewheeler MARY POWELL traveled up and down the Hudson River from 1861 to 1920.

This rub rail was originally curved to follow the curve of the vessel but in time it has flattened out. If you were to examine it closely you would see evidence of the old curvature. A back plate has been added to the piece as a support.

The figurehead from the MARY POWELL is in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American History, attesting to the ship's reputation and historical importance.


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Napoleonic Prisoner Of War Straw Box
Several excellent color straw work panels inside, with outstanding detail.


 

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Pair of Ames US Navy Cutlasses

A pair of steel Civil War U.S. Navy Cutlasses with brass hand guards and leather wrapped handles.

Both blades are marked D.R. 1862 on one side of the blade and with the maker's mark on the other: "Made by Ames Manufacturing Co., Chicopee, Mass."

One marked of the swords is numbered 11M 135 on the guard. The other bears additional marks on the blade, an anchor and the letters P.G.G. with the guard numbered 15M 496.


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British Royal Transportation Company Tide Signalling Cannon

Very interesting small British Cannon which has a 1 3/8 inch bore. Previous owner purchased the cannon from United Kingdom where it is recorded that it was used as a signal cannon to indicate rising and falling river tide.


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Fishing Equipment

Of the items shown only the two brass reels are still available. The larger brass reel (left side of image) is 4.5" diameter Please contact us for more information.



 

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Iron Signal Cannon With Cap Conversion

More information to follow.


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Large Wood Octant Trade Sign

50 inches high x 42 3/4 inches wide x 9 inches deep.

Looks like a period piece, in fact 20th century made.


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Late 19th Century Model of 16th Century Brass Cannon

This heavy brass barrel cast in relief is a rather unique artifact, with artistic touches replicating a much larger cannon barrel, dated from 1563. Complete with a medallion showing a male ruler’s profile, beaded designs on the reinforces where the segments would have connected, the cascabel is completed in a floral motif. Foundry work shows some of the cast seams, and the brushed bronze patina is attractive, if not completely accurate. A shield and coronet without a city or district identifier is set before the touch hole, and plain handles and carriage trunions complete the cannon.

The black powder barrel is set on a carved wood truck carriage with several risers, and hard iron hardware, all set on wooden turned wheels secures at the axles with cotter pin spikes. Not sure the representational scale to the original cannon, but it appears this barrel may have seen some use, as possibly a signaling device and saluting cannon, and likely other purposes.

The cannon measures 25 inches in length with a 1⅜ inch bore centered in a 3½ inch muzzle diameter. There are six sections between the cascabel and the mouth, all with implied dual reinforces where they meet. The carriage measures 22½ x 11½ x 11½ inches, making the overall length approximately 31 inches. A quite rare and different cannon for any collection.



 

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Launching Presentation Carved Desk Set Commemorating H.M.S. BEAVER

Carved desk set with brass cannons, framed image of vessel and carved Beaverplaque.

size: 26 1/2 inches x 11 3/4 inches.


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Tiller Yoke of Danforth Anchors

An unusual piece of sailing hardware, the tiller yoke in this instance is hand-forged from the shape of two Danforth-style anchors into a locking brace for a larger sailing ship's rudder control. The attached side mounted pulleys and toggled miniature blocks are brass as well.


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Wood Mirror Case with Sliding Cover

Inscribed in the wood: " A.F. Dunlop New Bedford Mass. Feb 11th 1880

With more inscription of dates and "on the line with" ...



 

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Bronze Statue of Sailor Boy

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European Hat Box for a Bicorne Hat SOLD

Though mostly associated with Napoleon, the Bicorne hat was used as a common military and naval headpiece throughout Europe and America, coming into wide use from about 1790 until 1910. This tin box includes its original brass label with the owner's name M. Keane. A fine case to keep one's dress military hat in good shape while not being worn.


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French Silvered Naval Officer Dress Sword SOLD

A fine French silvered dress sword- includes interesting decorative motifs including a dolphin's head, rope and anchor, shells and a series of maple leaves around the guard and pommel.



 

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Large 9/0 Edward Vom Hofe Ocean Reel

Excellent condition.

With initials G.F.B. engraved on one end.


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Sunderland Pottery Mug

Rare Sunderland pottery mug with ceramic frog inside.

The verse reads, Sweet, Oh Sweet is that sensation, Where two hearts in union meet, But the pain of separation, Mingles the bitter with the sweet.

A British Brig is shown opposite the verse.


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Three Spelter Maritime Statues of Helmsman, Lady Distress and Man with Lifeline

A classic three piece Cast Zinc Spelter Statues with a clock instrument, in traditional maritime roles, posed as a Sailor at the Helm, hands on the wheel; Lady Signalling Distress, a fabric in one hand and a net encumbered polearm gaff in the other hand; a Watchman with a Lifeline and Ring, looking outward to cast for survivors.

Dimensions:

Helmsman: 25 1/8 inches high x 12 1/2 inches wide.

Distress:23 5/8 inches high x 11 1/8 inches wide.

Watchman with life ring: 22 1/8 inches high x 7 7/8 inches wide.

Clock diameter: 4 3/8 inches. Clock is missing pendulum.

Helsman and Distress have engraved placques. The Watchman with Life Line is missing a plaque.



 

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Liverpool Pottery Bowl With Marine Scenes

More information to follow.


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United States Navy Divers Suit

Also stamped with size "M" and No. 1.9


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Ainsley Sextant

The instrument is signed Ainsley, South Shields. The box includes labels from F. Lundy, Gt. Grimsby and Thomas C. Sargent, Thames St., Rotherhithe, London.



 

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American Yacht Binnacle from ARIADNE

This magnificent American yacht binnacle is from the 131 foot steel hulled schooner ARIADNE. Designed by Tams, Lemoine & Crane, ARIADNE was built by famed shipyard Harlan and Hollingsworth of Wilmington, Delaware for H.W. Putnam Jr. of the New York Yacht Club. When completed she weighed in at 168 tons.

Made of brass with a carved mahogany base with rope motif, this binnacle is in excellent condition and is marked with the maker’s name, John Bliss & Co. of New York. The top of the binnacle is engraved with the ship’s name in a large elegant script. The compass is marked Oliver & Co., New York.

Putnam raced ARIADNE in many NY Yacht Club events including the Squadron Run and the annual cruise. In 1905 he raced the schooner in a well-known multi-yacht club transatlantic race from Sandy Hook, NY to Lizard Point, Cornwall. Putnam sold ARIADNE in 1906 to fellow New York Yacht Club member James Laughlin.

The ship would later sail under the names CUTTY SARK and MARY PINCHOT. As MARY PINCHOT the schooner was owned by Gifford Pinchot, first Chief of the United States Forest Service and the 28th Governor of Pennsylvania. Pinchot re-named the ship for his mother.

In 1929 Pinchot organized and led an expedition aboard the MARY PINCHOT from New York to Tahiti to collect zoological specimens for the U.S. National Museum of Natural History. The voyage took the ship through the Panama Canal and made many stops including the Grand Cayman, the Galapagos, and the Marquesas. Upon his return Pinchot published a book of their travels “To the South Seas”. In addition to the Pinchot family and crew, the ship carried photographer Howard H. Cleaves whose footage shot during the voyage would be made into a documentary film shown in movie theaters throughout the United States.

Yacht registers show her original steam auxiliary engine was removed in 1924 and replaced with a 50hp diesel. In 1927 a mizzen mast was added and she was eventually rerigged as a topsail schooner. In 1932 ARIADNE is listed as having grown to a LOA of 147’10”. We've found a Thomas Willis painting of the ship as shw looked in 1902 and a photo of the ship post this refit- both are shown her for reference.

Sometime in the early 1930’s she again became ARIADNE under owner Harvey S. Bissell of Los Angeles, California. Bissell was best known as a manufacturer of carpet sweepers and later vacuum cleaners. Bissell would also take his family to far off places aboard the schooner. In 1933 he published “Full and By: The Story of an Adventurous Family and its Trip Around the World on the ARIADNE 1931-1933.” The ship’s captain, Victor Brisson, would also later publish the log books of his journeys with the Bissells in his native France. The original logs are in the collection of the University of Sydney, Australia.


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Brass Telescope on Mahogany Stand SOLD

For over 75 years and across several generations, the Bardou family were leading manufacturers of small telescopes for education and recreation.

This example is in excellent working condition with original box and all lenses including those for terrestrial and celestial observation. The large mahogany tripod base has its original finish and working gear system to easily raise and lower the height of the scope. Large telescopes, in this condition and with a tripod of this quality and substantial make are rare.

Established in Paris in 1818 by D.F. Bardou as Maison Bardou, the firm passed to his son P.G. Bardou in the mid 1800's becoming Bardou et Fils (Bardou & Sons). Grandson Albert Bardou took over in the late 1800's, putting his own name A. Bardou on instruments from that period forward until the firm passed out of the family in 1895.

Bardou and Sons came to the United States in 1876, displaying their instruments at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. There they caught the eye of James W. Queen & Co., foremost merchants of scientific instruments in the U.S. at the time, who soon began importing Bardou telescopes for sale in the United States.

A telescope by Albert Bardou is in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

Lens diameter: 3 1/4 Inches, Telescope Body 48 Inches, Overall with tube extended 62 Inches.


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Cased Octant by WF Cannon of London

A fine navigational instrument made of ebony and brass with bone, housed in a mahogany case.



 

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Mahogany Carved Twist Gimballed Barometer by I. Cail
A fine quality brass and mahogany carved twist gimballed barometer with the original thermometer and a bone knob. This is the rarest and most desirable type of barometer.

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Mahogany Carved Twist Gimballed Barometer by James Bassnett
A fine quality brass and mahogany carved twist gimballed barometer with age cracks on the face. This is the rarest and most desirable type of barometer.

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Nikon Japanese Big Eye 20x120 Binoculars

An exceptionally beautifully polished set of Nikon Binoculars of top quality, set on a nickel polished tripod. Labeled 20 x 3 degree vision, this 20 x 120 optical instrument is circa 1940 and was previously painted with a drab military grey that has been stripped and polished, along with a fine quality Bausch and Lomb Tripod. The quality of the 120mm lens, and the 20x magnification power make this not only a beautiful artifact, but an excellent instrument for contemporary use.



 

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Oak Carved Admiral Fitzroy Barometer

This deeply carved ornate barometer is all original and circa 1880.

British Naval Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy (1805 – 1865) achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's famous voyage. FitzRoy was a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate daily weather predictions, which he called by a new name of his own invention: "forecasts".

FitzRoy strove to make weather information more widely available for the safety of shipping and fishermen and the invention of several different types of barometers was attributed to him. These became popular and continued in production into the 20th century, characteristically engraved with Admiral FitzRoy's special remarks on interpretation, such as: "When rising: In winter the rise of the barometer presages frost."


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Quintant by Cary of London

A rare instrument of the highest quality by one of the finest makers- Cary of London. The instrument is very complete and features a platinum scale. Included is its original fine polished mahogany box and matching leather case. In outstanding condition.


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Ross 10x80 British Admiralty Binoculars

This fine quality British Admiralty instrument was recently fully polished and cleaned, and is in excellent functioning condition. Dated 1942, and with the Broad Arrow admiralty mark, they were undoubtedly put into World War II service. The metal tripod stand is polished as well, and is a very adaptable way to show and use this instrument in a home setting, whereas onboard a ship they would have been stationary mounted to an observation platform rail. A top quality optical instrument of the 20th Century.



 

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Ships Chronometer by John Campbell

A precision time-piece for the specific purpose of navigation, this marine chronometer created by John Campbell, late of Norris & Campbell, is numbered #927, and the historic lists record it as an instrument he made circa 1863.

The instrument is housed in its original brass-bound rosewood case.


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US Navy 20 x 120 Big Eye Bridge Binoculars

This pair of US Naval Big Eye Binoculars was made by Kollmorgen Optical of Northampton, Massachusetts. Kollmorgen has been making optics for the US Navy since 1916, when they were asked to design, build and install the first workable periscope aboard the first U.S. submarine.

Aboard ship these would have been mounted on a railing just off the bridge. This pair is now mounted on an earlier, circa 1940’s, wood and metal tripod marked Professional Junior, Camera Equipment Co., NY Pat. No: 2818910. Camera Equipment Co. is known to have made tripods for the US Military during this period.

Optics are excellent and all parts are present and working including the forehead rest and lens shades, not pictured online. The original manufacturers label was removed at some point; pictured below is a plate from an identical pair. The binoculars are marked US on the right lens, also marked outlet.


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Early American Backstaff, Dated 1762

An extremely rare and excellently preserved navigation instrument dated 1762, this backstaff, or Davis Quadrant, is attributed to maker Benjamin King of Newport, Rhode Island. It is impact stencil signed with his name, with an exceptional array of degree scales on each arc, including a Gunters Scale on the verso, quite rare and desirable on such a navigation instrument.

Dimensions: 25 5/8 inches long x 15 1/4 inches high x 5/8 inch deep.



 

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Cased Artificial Horizon Navigation Instrument

For a period of four hundred years, navigators sought to devise a method to use celestial navigation to locate their position. Artificial Horizons have been employed to assist th process, especially when the true horizon is obscured by weather or other elements. In 1868, the mercury bottle and reservoir were designed with a dual paned sighting hood that made it more possible to accomplish this.

Cased wood mahogany box with boxwood mercury bottle (3 3/4 inch height with 1 3/4 inch diameter) and steel tray with wood funnel liner, plus a glass-paned wind cover with steel frame (6 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches).


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Cased Navigational Octant by G. Heath, London

This navigation instrument features bone scales, the largest divided for a range of 100 degrees with the cross-sectional scale of the arm divided from 0 to 20 minutes. The instrument is housed in its original period octant case. It measures 9 1/2 inches in width to its 12 inch overall length. Case size is 11 7/8 wide by 13 high by 4 3/8 deep.

The inlay is signed by the maker, G. Heath of London, while the box includes a label for Samuel Thaxter and Sons, Boston, Importers of Mathematical and Nautical Instruments, who were the likely retailers of this object to its original 19th century owner.


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Rare American Display Compass by Guillaume Bossimeau

With its original stenciled flags and advertisement written on the forward panel, “Guillaume Bossimeau, 31 Nassau St. New York City”, this display piece is a large version of a French Naval Steering Compass.

Of note are the copper-bound corner straps on the top and sides, with a mock-up canister light. It resided in the compass maker’s lobby for a time and recently was discovered in an Iowa home.

Instrument Measures 32 x 32 Inches Square with a 51 Inch Height. The Light Cannister adds an Additional 10-Inch Width. Compass Dial is 13½ Inches in Diameter, Inset into a 19-Inch Suspension Basin.



 

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Riggs Brothers Small Boat/Yacht Compass

Marked Riggs & Bro, Philadelphia and numbered 11186. In mahogany and brass case.


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U.S. Navy 20 x 120 Bridge Binoculars SOLD

These are the most complete set of United States Navy bridge binoculars we have ever had. Optics are excellent and all parts are present and working including the original deck mount and stand.

Base includes a crank lever to raise and lower the binoculars. Embossed with "US" into the casting. Plaque indicates these were last serviced in 1987.

The last two photos show a similar pair of binoculars, in place, on the battleship USS Iowa, which is now a museum in Southern California.


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Marine Chronometer by Johannsen & Co

This two day chronometer is set in a mahogany case and is complete and in working order. It is inscribed with, “Johannsen & Co., Makers to the Admiralty, The Indian Government and the Royal Navies of Italy, Spain, and Portugal” and the maker’s address “149 Minories, London.”



 

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Admiral Fitzroy Barometer

British Naval Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy (1805 – 1865) achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's famous voyage. FitzRoy was a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate daily weather predictions, which he called by a new name of his own invention: "forecasts".

FitzRoy strove to make weather information more widely available for the safety of shipping and fishermen and the invention of several different types of barometers was attributed to him. These became popular and continued in production into the 20th century, characteristically engraved with Admiral FitzRoy's special remarks on interpretation, such as: "When rising: In winter the rise of the barometer presages frost."

This particular example is oak, with decorative carving.


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American Made Chelsea Clock

Face is engraved: Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co LTD. 112 Regent Street London.

Made in U.S.A at the bottom of face.


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Cased Pocket Barometer

2 Inch Dia. Face x ¾ Inches Deep - Case: 3⅜ Inches Long x 2⅜ Inches Wide x 1 Inch Deep.



 

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Drafting & Navigation Tool Set To: Lieut. J White

Presentation inscribed: To Lieut. J. White, by the Officers, N.C.O.'s, & Members of "I" Company 6th V.B. Blackwatch. On the occasion of his marriage. 30th April 1902."

A nice rosewood case with numerous tools of bone, boxwood and nickel set in the two-layer tray with purple felt.


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Gimballed Marine Barometer by D. McGregor of Glasglow & Greenock

Featuring bone scales and dial, with original polished mount.


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VALLEJO GALLERY is an Authorized Chelsea Clock Dealer


 

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Circa 1850 Dry Card Compass by Hooper & Sons Compass Makers

4 1/2" compass face. Case measures 7" x 7" x 4 3/4" high.


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Double Frame Sextant by J. Fletcher, London

An early double frame brass sextant marked J. Fletcher, 48 Lombard St., London on the scale. This firm was at this address from 1833 to 1855. Good complete instrument in a partial, original wood box. From the William Boylhart collection.

Lid missing on case.


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Large Size Pocket Sextant by F. Steward, London

4 inches high x 2 3/8 inches wide



 

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Mahogany and Brass Telescope
A fine early mahogany and brass telescope, engraved with the maker's name near the eyepiece- "Gilbert & Sons, London - Improved"

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Mahogany Cased Ship's Artificial Horizon

Case dimensions: 7 1/4 inches x 5 3/4 inches x 4 3/4 inches high.

For a period of four hundred years, navigators sought to devise a method to use celestial navigation to locate their position. Artificial Horizons have been employed to assist the process, especially when the true horizon is obscured by weather or other elements. In 1868, the mercury bottle and reservoir were designed with a dual paned sighting hood that made it more possible to accomplish this.

With a trough, a steel bottle for holding mercury, and the glass hood, all cased in its original mahogany box.


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Ship's Chronometer by John Bliss, New York

John Bliss was one of the few American makers of marine chronometers. This example is complete with all accessories and in good condition.

In original mahogany box with beveled glass top.



 

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Sundial

Brass sundial on oak base by Dollond, London.

Dimensions: Sundial 3⅞ x 3⅞ Inches square, 2⅜ Inches High. Oak Base 5½ x 5½ Inches Square ¾ Inches High.


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Dutch Gimballed Brass Marine Barometer by Koningh

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Rare American Made Brass Telescope by Pike, New York

Inscribed on the first reinforce of the large main body tube of this rare, early American Tabletop Telescope, "Pike Optician 516 Broadway N.Y." With its simple yet superior function, this instrument was the possession of Russell W. Porter, of Albany Fields, New York. He was part of the Ziegler Polar Expedition in 1903 that was stranded in its attempt to reach the North Pole, and wasn't rescued until 1905.

Case dimensions: 9" wide x 5" high x 40"long.



 

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Rare Ships Boxwood Backstaff

This mid-18th century backstaff features boxwood scales and a hardwood frame with bone inlay. There are repaired cracks- one on the upper scale and one on the main frame. There is also a chip in the wood at the tip of the lower scale. A great early navigational artifact.


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American Seth Thomas Bottom Bell Ship's Clock

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Brass Chelsea Yacht Wheel Ships Bell Clock

Chelsea clock # 717590.



 

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Brass Tripod Telescope by Samuel & Benjamin Solomons -London

3 1/2 Inch diameter lens. On a French mahogany stand made for the piece.


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Navigation Set with Ray Skin Case.

More information to follow.


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Rare Wood Bowl, Dry Card Whale Ship Compass By S. Thaxter and Son Boston

Rare wood bowl, dry card compass by S.Thaxter & Son 125 State Street Boston. With original brackets

Dimensions: Wood bowl compass 5 inches high x 7 5/8 inches wide.

Compass card: 6 inches wide.

Overall height with stand: 15 inches high.



 

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Early Sextant by Lewellyn of London

Marked Lewellyn, London. Sextant is easily removable from teak post on lamp.


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Omoo by Herman Melville SOLD
Original First Edition by this classic American novelist.

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Two Maritime Engravings of Naval Actions

Two period engravings of naval actions are mounted in an antique burl frame.

On the left, "The Taking of Gibraltar" shows a fleet of English ships in the Bay of Gibraltar, facing the Rock of Gibraltar." This engraving bears the name Hulett Sculp in the lower right.

On the right, "The Sea Fight of Malaga, August 13, 1703" depicts nearly 50 ships at battle off Malaga. This engraving is signed C.Du.B of c. Fecit, and at the bottom reads, "Publish'd According to Act of Parliament"



 

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Yachts and Yachtsmen of America Vol I- Dated 1894 Henry Mott Editor

A very rare publication on American yachting by the International Yacht Publishing Company 155-157 Broadway, New York, featuring numerous full page photos of yachts along with many other photos, illustrations and engravings. 692 pages.

A standard work of reference being a history of yachting and yacht clubs with biographies of the founder and members of the different clubs of the United States and Canada. This is the ultimate bible of American yachting in the 19th century.

Recently rebound in Moroccan leather preserving the original decorative boards.


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Fine Weather and a Fair Wind Yachting Print

One of 250 prints made of this image in 1946, hand signed in pencil, by the artist in the lower right and in the lower left bearing the Frost and Reed blind stamp.


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Racing Home, the CUTTY SARK

Part of a closed edition of 300 done in 1963, hand signed by the artist in pencil on the right. In the lower left is the blind stamp of Frost and Reed, the gallery who represented Dawson during his lifetime.



 

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Attack On Forts Hatteras and Clark SOLD

More information to follow.


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Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, California

An exceedingly rare and desirable image of Avalon from the turn of the century. Nestled safely at Catalina Island’s southeast channel, the town is the emotional and economic heart of the island. Shown here are important early buildings, such as 1890's Holly Hill House on the foreground ridge and Hotel Metropole at the shore in front of steamer pier. More than half the town shown would be lost in a 1915 fire. Combined with the natural topography and the diverse marine activity shown in the bay, it is a complete scene.

An absolute Southern California destination for tourists and locals, Catalina Island has hosted and served as home to humans for centuries. Europeans first made landings in the late 16th Century. It evolved through a series of ownerships and visions to be popular resort destination by the 1890s. Shown in the bay are an arriving passenger steamship, most likely one of the Wilmington Transportation ships out of Long Beach. Among the other various craft and numerous glass bottomed boats for underwater viewing is the most prominent of these ships, the Sidewheeler CLEOPATRA. In all, the island’s population was estimated to be about 500 in the winter, and 8,000 during the summer, and they all traveled by ship.

The lithograph presents the town from a bird’s-eye-view. The sharply colored image is in a complete matte border to present the title fully, while another edition of this print was later done in color accents with a border. This image is pictured in the book California on Stone by Peters on page 41 and as number 56 in Views & Viewmakers of Urban America by reps. This original print is one of only five we have seen to date of either version.

Image measures 17" x 23", with Title block 19" x 25" - Framed size is: 31" x 37"


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Captain Cook's Voyages to the Pacific

Captain James Cook, explorer of the Pacific Ocean, and the three, first-edition volumes of his fateful third and final voyage over the Pacific Ocean, in the firsthand accounts published in 1784. With the large folio image book of the first edition works from the travels. Beautifully rebound, this is an superior three-volume first edition set with the engravings that make the entire set so special.

One of the best titles in all of the history of exploratory literature, the page reads: " Captain Cook. Voyage to the North Pacific Ocean for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere and to Determine the Position and Extent of the West Side of North America, its Distance from Asia and the Practicality of a Northern Passage to Europe."

This superior three-volume set was beautifully rebound some time ago, and it comes with the large folio atlas and images that make it a fascinating read and visual account of the voyages. A must have for any lover of Hawaii, the Age of Exploration and/or Captain Cook.

Captain Cook. Large Folio Atlas to the Third Voyage, Published by Order of the Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty W. Strachan and T. Cadell, London, 1773, 1777 and 1784.



 

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The CITY OF GLASGOW

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BRITISH YACHTS and YACHTSMEN

A complete history of British Yachting from the middle of the sixteenth century to present day-1907.

By the Yachtsman Publishing Company 143 Strand, London W.C.


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Whale Ships Grounded for the Winter

Whale ships sit amid Arctic ice as the crew works to keep the ships from being crushed as the waters freeze. In excellent condition. Remarque shows a hand drawn whaling scene. Nicely matted and framed.



 

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A Southerly Wind, The WAIMATE

Signed in pencil by the artist, with blind stamp


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Lithograph LIVERPOOL 1853

A nice early panoramic view of Liverpool 1853. Mounted in it's original frame.

Ships were drawn by Samuel Walters, Town scene by Butler.


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Original Period Photo of a Sailboat

A period sailboat cruises by the docks of the NY Steamship Company in this original period photo.



 

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Original Period Photograph of the 12 Meter Yacht MODESTY

Original Period Photo of the 12 Meter Yacht MODESTY, by Beken and Sons of Cowes.


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Original Period Photograph of the Cutter VOLUNTEER

Original period photo of the famous cutter VOLUNTEER at sail by Stebbins and Co.


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Pittsburgh - The sidewheeler DEAN ADAMS Arriving At The Point in 1880


 

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Whaleships ROUSSEAU and DESDEMONA in New Bedford Harbor

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Lying To Off St. Georges Banks, NORSEMEN AND ATALANTA

Published in 1884 this image is number 15 of what was a portfolio of chromolithographs, "American Yachts Their Clubs and Races" by renowned maritime artist Frederick S. Cozzens, made from his original works in watercolor. This comes unframed but matted, ready to be framed or added to a collection from the series.

The portfolio was originally accompanied by a companion text by U.S. Navy Lieutenant James Douglas Jerrold Kelley that gave background, context and explanation of each plate. Here is an excerpt of Lt. Kelley's entry on this image:

"Mr Cozzens has given us in this plate an excellent picture of the two sturdy yachts Norseman and Atalanta lying to off those shoals which are so dangerous both to the mariners approaching our coast and to the unfortunate fishermen who are yearly offered up as a dreadful tribute to the fury of the Georges. These shoals are formed by a dangerous sand ridge which is just one hundred miles from Cape Cod; the shoalest part is near the eastern end and in 1821 when surveyed by Mr Blunt's party this is said to have had as little as three feet of water upon it. Later expeditions however have not verified the statement but it is probable that the bottom shifts continually for reliable old fishermen report that at certain seasons it is bare while both Wilkes and Piatt of our Navy found nowhere less than twelve feet of water. A nasty dangerous sea is kicked up on these shoals whenever the weather is bad and if one is caught off it in a gale every precaution should be taken not that good large sea boats like the yachts given in the plate are liable to suffer nor even staunch fishing vessels but smaller craft with insufficient crews and equipment and particularly the dories used in fishing need expect no mercy."


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Claude Monet Signed Letter - Written from Giverny France

Letters size: 4" x 6 3/4" .

Framed size: 19 3/4" x 26 3/8".

This rare document is written in Monet's own hand describing the return of an item by one of his clients. Dated June 23, 1893 on stationary from Giverny. This draft is displayed with the likeness of Monet and a copy of one of his paintings at Giverny.

The letters reads as follows:

23 June 93

Dear Mr. Hamman,

I have indeed received in due time the (item) that you sent back to me. I am hoping now to receive a word from you about the settlement of my account, thinking that Mr. Knoedler has sent some instructions on this subject. I am going to need those funds, and ask you to see to it that payment is made as rapidly as possible.

A word from you in reply, I pray you.

.

Cordially yours

Claude Monet



 

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Map Of Spain by Nicolas Vissches

More information to follow.


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Original Stebbins Photograph of ASAHI

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Whaleship L.C. RICHARDS Pirate Passport

Martin Van Buren, President of the United Sates, Signed ship's Passage For The Whaleship "L.C.RICHMOND", James B. Woods, Master, November 21,1837.

The RICHMOND left New Bedford for a voyage to the Pacific on November 26, 1837 and returned February 1, 1841 with 2,618 barrels of sperm whale oil. Engraved document with manuscript additions, affixed with embossed paper seal. Counter signed by John Forsyth as Secretary of State.

Framed with engraved portrait of Van Buren.



 

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Hilton Head Island - Shrimpboats at Skull Creek

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British Letter of Marque With 5½ Inch Diameter Seal

A Letter of Marque or a Privateer's Commissioning Letter are truly unique and valuable maritime items of antiquity. Usually a printed document, these paper artifacts were licenses granted by a monarch or a government to privately owned vessels, enabling them under certain conditions to war against shipping interests of an enemy nation. With this authorization, a privateer would pledge to try to capture or seize enemy ships, both naval and merchant, seldom if ever with any waters being a safe harbor. Without a proper passport, a captain would risk being charged with piracy.

As its text states, this particular Letter of Marque was issued by King George III to the Master of the Ship CARMARTHEN, during the worldwide Napoleonic War campaign against the machinations of Napoleon. The entire text of the document is captured and translated in the images. The Royal Wax Seal is still present, not quite the same clarity as when issued 200-plus years ago, but the mounted figure on horseback is still evident. A classic late 18th/ early 19th Century license to perform as a privateer for Crown and Country; not to mention profit.


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Stephen Decatur Hand Written Letter Of Recommendation

The letter states:

Washington Nov. 11th 1817

"A friend of yours has informed me, that you are desirous to have testimonial from me, as it regards your publick services & conduct whilst under my command, & I only do justus to you, I feel a great pleasure in being able to state, that your conduct as an officer & gentleman, during the period we served together was such as to meet my fullest approbation, in action it was cool & gallant".

Yours truly Stephen Decatur

Lieut. James L. Edwards



 

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Whalemans Shipping List and Merchants Transcript

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Original Peabody of Boston Photograph No. 761

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Signed Print by John Stobart- Sunrise Over Nantucket 1835

Print number 631 of 850.



 

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Woman And Children First, Photogravure of a Painting by T.M. Hemy

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New Bedford, 50 Years Ago- Lithograph - Circa 1850s

One of artist William A. Wall’s most famous paintings, the New Bedford born painter made this original painting (once owned by Miss Amelia Jones) in the 1850s, and it was produced as a two-stone lithograph by Endicott & Co. of New York and published by Charles Talbert & Co. of Boston in 1858. The scene is a charming one of New Bedford as it appeared in approximately 1808, with the signs of several well known businesses and people of all ages about their respective business and play, with some local fauna and the horse-drawn carriages.

Wall himself was born in New Bedford in 1807, and made his fame as a portrayer of the townspeople and local settlements of “Old Dartmouth”. He studied in both New York and Philadelphia after leaving the watch making profession. His “Birth of the Whaling Industry” masterpiece is in the New Bedford Library collection.


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Original Peabody of Boston Photograph


 

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Original Peabody of Boston Photograph #798 SOLD

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Original Stebbins Photograph #7892

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Original Stebbins Photograph Number 6045- SPINSTER

Framed demensions: 15¾ inches x 17¾ inches.



 

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Pencil Study of Guano Building Savannah

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Vineyard Haven The Schooner SHENANDOAH From The Black Dog Tavern In 1884

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Colonel Bates Leads the 30th Colored Infantry at the Battle of the Crater

This rare portrait of African American troops serving in battle during the Civil War depicts the 30th United States Colored Infantry at the Battle of the Crater, at Petersburg, Virginia. The regiment was composed of African American enlisted men commanded by white officers and was authorized by the Bureau of Colored Troops which was created by the United States War Department on May 22, 1863.

The Battle of the Crater, July 30th, 1864, was part of the Siege of Petersburg, fought between the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade (under the direct supervision of the general-in-chief, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant).

At the top of the painting, Colonel Delevan Bates raises his saber to lead the charge of the 30th United States Colored Infantry. Bates was promoted to this command just prior to this battle, having served with distinction in the 121st New York Infantry at the Battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Though the Battle of the Crater would eventually be won by the Confederacy, it was here that Bates and 23 other troops would be award the United States highest award for bravery during combat, the Medal of Honor.

After weeks of preparation, on July 30, Union forces exploded a mine in Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside's IX Corps sector, blowing a gap in the Confederate defenses of Petersburg, Virginia. From this propitious beginning, everything deteriorated rapidly for the Union attackers. Unit after unit charged into and around the crater, where soldiers milled in confusion. Grant considered the assault "the saddest affair I have witnessed in this war." The Confederates quickly recovered and launched several counterattacks led by Brig. Gen. William Mahone. The breach was sealed off, and Union forces were repulsed with severe casualties. Brig. Gen. Edward Ferrero's division of black soldiers were badly mauled. This may have been Grant's best chance to end the Siege of Petersburg. Instead, the soldiers settled in for another eight months of trench warfare. Burnside was relieved of command for the last time for his role in the debacle, and he was never again returned to command.

Bates was seriously wounded in the battle but survived the war, mustering out honorably in December 1865. He eventually moved back to New York, married and had a family, and was a merchant and shopkeeper.

A full account of the battle and a full page illustration of this painting was published in the book, "Deeds of Valor" in 1903.

Though the work is signed, we consider it an attribution to Abbott Fuller Graves, as it is unclear if the work was done by him or another artist of the same surname. However, another battle scene illustration by Abbott Fuller Graves has come up in the past, which appears to be done by the same hand.



 

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Attack of Smith's Corps at Cold Harbor, Virginia

Inscription verso: "Flight on June 1, 1864 (Smith's Corps) near Cold Harbor. Prisoners and wounded coming in from the front. The lines face the Chickahominy which is beyond the distant crest held by the Rebels."

While the photographic process evolved rapidly from its inception in 1839 and the wet plate process of taking photographs was coming into widespread use by the start of the Civil War, it was a cumbersome process in the field as well as the studio. More significantly, at that time the photographs themselves could not be reproduced as illustrations accompanying written reports of the war.

As a result, publishers of newspapers and other periodicals in major cities, primarily in the North, employed a number of sketch artists who traveled with armies to draw the scenes that they witnessed. These sketches, most frequently pencil on paper with brief identifications of people and places, were then sent back by courier to the periodical publishers. The battlefield sketches received by the publishers were then copied by engraving artists onto wooden blocks, which were used in printing presses to illustrate printed articles covering the war.

This illustration would have been done while Alfred Waud was a sketch artist working exclusively for Harper's Weekly.

The Battle of Cold Harbor was fought from May 31 to June 12, 1864, with the most significant fighting occurring on June 3. It was one of the final battles of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign during the American Civil War, and is remembered as one of American history's bloodiest, most lopsided battles. Thousands of Union soldiers were killed or wounded in a hopeless frontal assault against the fortified positions of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army.

On May 31, as Grant's army once again swung around the right flank of Lee's army, Union cavalry seized the crossroads of Old Cold Harbor, about 10 miles northeast of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, holding it against Confederate attacks until the Union infantry arrived. Both Grant and Lee, whose armies had suffered enormous casualties in the Overland Campaign, received reinforcements. On the evening of June 1, the Union VI Corps and XVIII Corps arrived and assaulted the Confederate works to the west of the crossroads with some success.

On June 2, the remainder of both armies arrived and the Confederates built an elaborate series of fortifications 7 miles long. At dawn on June 3, three Union corps attacked the Confederate works on the southern end of the line and were easily repulsed with heavy casualties. Attempts to assault the northern end of the line and to resume the assaults on the southern were unsuccessful.

Grant said of the battle in his memoirs, "I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. ... No advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained." The armies confronted each other on these lines until the night of June 12, when Grant again advanced by his left flank, marching to the James River. It was an impressive defensive victory for Lee, but it was his last in the war. In the final stage, he alternated between digging into the trenches at Petersburg and fleeing westward across Virginia.

After the war, the popular Century Magazine started publishing the narratives of Civil War veterans and retained a large number of sketch artists including Waud to illustrate the articles. They used interviews, photographs, and prior war-date sketches to produce accurate pictorial representations of the war. These illustrated accounts were incorporated into a large four-volume work entitled Battles and Leaders of the Civil War in 1881.


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Sumner Repulsing the Rebels

While the photographic process evolved rapidly from its inception in 1839 and the wet plate process of taking photographs was coming into widespread use by the start of the Civil War, it was a cumbersome process in the field as well as the studio. More significantly, at that time the photographs themselves could not be reproduced as illustrations accompanying written reports of the war.

As a result, publishers of newspapers and other periodicals in major cities, primarily in the North, employed a number of sketch artists who traveled with armies to draw the scenes that they witnessed. These sketches, most frequently pencil on paper with brief identifications of people and places, were then sent back by courier to the periodical publishers. The battlefield sketches received by the publishers were then copied by engraving artists onto wooden blocks, which were used in printing presses to illustrate printed articles covering the war.

This illustration would have been done while Alfred Waud was a sketch artist working exclusively for Harper's Weekly. Here in this rare example we have Waud's original sketch framed with the resulting engraving as it was printed in Harper's Weekly, July 26th, 1862.

The Battle of Savage's Station took place on June 29, 1862, in Henrico County, Virginia, as the fourth of the Seven Days Battles (Peninsula Campaign) of the American Civil War. The main body of the Union Army of the Potomac began a general withdrawal toward the James River. Confederate Brig. Gen. John B. Magruder pursued along the railroad and the Williamsburg Road and struck Maj. Gen. Edwin Vose Sumner's II Corps (the Union rearguard) with three brigades near Savage's Station, while Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's divisions were stalled north of the Chickahominy River. Union forces continued to withdraw across White Oak Swamp, abandoning supplies and more than 2,500 wounded soldiers in a field hospital.

After the war, the popular Century Magazine started publishing the narratives of Civil War veterans and retained a large number of sketch artists including Waud to illustrate the articles. They used interviews, photographs, and prior war-date sketches to produce accurate pictorial representations of the war. These illustrated accounts were incorporated into a large four-volume work entitled Battles and Leaders of the Civil War in 1881.

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