Follower of Spoilum (Chinese, active circa 1765-1805)
Benjamin Boyd's yacht The Wanderer in full sail oil on canvas 33 x 48.3 cm. (13 x 19 in.)
Born in Scotland, Benjamin Boyd (1796-1851) moved to London and became a member of the London Stock Exchange in 1825, where his main interests were shipping and commerce in Australia. He founded and floated the Royal Bank of Australia, which then financed his journey to Australia and his proposed enterpises there. He and his brother set sail in his luxury schooner, The Wanderer, accompanied by a crew of fourteen. Boyd was a prominent member of the Royal Yacht Club, and The Wanderer had hosted dinner parties attended by members of the Royal Family. She travelled to Rio de Janeiro and around the Cape of Good Hope, before entering Sydney Harbour on 18 July 1842 to a huge reception.
Following various successes and spectacular failures on his extraordinary Australian business ventures, Boyd left Sydney on board The Wanderer on 26 October 1849 for the Californian goldfields. Having failed in America, The Wanderer sailed onto the Pacific Islands, where Boyd hoped to establish a Papuan Republic. He disappeared in the Solomon Islands in 1851, and the cause of his death remains a mystery. The Wanderer was reduced to a wreck by a storm off Port Macquarie one month later.
A similar oil can be found in the collection of the State Library of Tasmania.
The image for this lot has been reversed in the printed and online catalogues.