The Crab Pots signed 'C. Napier Hemy' and dated 1904 (lower right) oil on canvas laid down 118 x 214 cm. (46 1/2 x 84 1/4 in.)
Property of the Union, Universities and Schools Club, Sydney.
Provenance : Presented to the Union, Universities and Schools Club of Sydney by the Knox family in memory of Sir Edward Knox, MLC (1819-1901), President of the Union Club from 1882-1901.
Edward Knox, knighted in 1898, was born in Denmark in 1819 and went to Sydney to seek his fortune in 1839. In time becoming Chairman of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney and the Colonial Sugar Refining Company, he was connected with both institutions for over fifty years. In 1856, by which time he was a very prominent man in the Sydney business community, he was appointed a Member of the First Legislative Council [of Australia] and continued to serve, apart from a brief interval whilst out of the country, until 1894. After Sir Edwards death in 1901, the painting offered in this lot was presented to the Union Club in Sydney by the Knox family in his memory; Sir Edward had been the clubs Chairman from 1882 until his death.
There is an oil sketch for the fishing boat and figures on the left-hand side of our picture titled 'Hauling in Lobster Pots' in the collection of the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, bequeathed by the Hemy family in 1935.
Hemy was living in Falmouth in 1904 and in the same year as 'The Crab Pots' was painted, his Royal Academy exhibit 'London River' was bought for the Chantrey Bequest for £1,000 and hangs in Tate Britain, London.