Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen (American, 1850-1921) Schooner Yachts flying the burgees of the New
Lot 84
Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen (American, 1850-1921) An American schooner, believed to be the “Grayling” trailing behind the leader as they turn at the Sandy Hook Lightship, the referee's boat off their port beam 71 x 101.6cm. (28 x 40in.)
Sold for £53,775 (US$ 87,813) inc. premium

Lot Details
Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen (American, 1850-1921) Schooner Yachts flying the burgees of the New
Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen (American, 1850-1921)

Footnotes

  • Provenance :- Private Collection, Denmark.

    It is probable that the yacht with the white hull is the 'Grayling'. The private signal burgee that it is flying is practically identical to the one depicted in a picture titled 'The Grayling leading a race' sold, Sotheby's London, 5th. June 1985, lot 116 (£48,400).

    Designed with his usual rule-o’thumb methods by Philip Elsworth of Bayonne - known to contemporaries as “Cap’n Phip” so as to distinguish him from his four brothers, each of whom liked to dabble in yacht design – “Grayling” was a large and handsome two-masted wooden schooner destined to achieve notoriety as well as fame. Built by Poillon Bros. of Brooklyn for Latham A. Fish of New York, she measured 91 feet overall (81 feet at the waterline) and had a 23 foot beam. Constructed to the prevailing though contentious theories of the centre-board school, “Grayling” combined a very shallow draft with having all her ballast inside, an arrangement many thought would lead to disaster. As if to prove her critics right, she capsized and sank in a light squall during her trials in May 1883 and even though she was soon raised and repaired, it was an ignominious start to her career. Once in the hands of Captain Norman Terry however, she soon acquired a justifiable reputation for speed in smooth water and a stiff breeze, and went on to become one of the most successful big schooners of the 1880s.

    This painting is not recorded in Harold Sniffen’s Checklist (or the Addenda Lists) of Jacobsen’s work even though several other portraits of “Grayling” are noted. This picture comes from Jacobsen's finest period and seems to be unique in his oeuvre.
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