James Edward Buttersworth (British/American, 1817-1894)
The American clipper ship Flying Cloud, Scudding in a Gale of Wind off Cape Horn on her record-breaking voyage to San Francisco around Cape Horn in 89 days, April 20th 1854 signed lower right "J.E. Buttersworth" oil on canvas 20 x 30 in.
Exhbited: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1936
Literature: Rudolph J. Schaefer, J. E. Buttersworth - 19th Century Marine Painter, Mystic Seaport, 1975, No. 284, pg 247 for a listing of this painting.
Richard B. Grassby, Ship, Sea & Sky - The Marine Art of James Edward Buttersworth, Rizzoli, N.Y., 1994, pp. 79-80 for another example of Flying Cloud in a storm.
Rudolph J. Schaefer, J. E. Buttersworth - 19th Century Marine Painter, Mystic Seaport, 2009, pp. 72-91 for other examples of clipper ships, including others in storms; and page 240 for a [un-illustrated] listing of this painting.
Apparently, Flying Cloud and her record breaking passage between New York and San Francisco was one of James E. Buttersworth's favorite clipper ship subjects. In addition to this one, and the one sold at these sale rooms last year [Bonhams, Important Maritime Paintings & Decorative Arts, January 2013, Sale 20482, Lot 113], the one listed in the Grassby book, Ship, Sea & Sky, and another one listed in the Schaefer book makes four paintings, all the same size and period, circa 1854.
The American clipper ship Flying Cloud set the world's sailing record for the fastest passage between New York and San Francisco, 89 days 8 hours. She held this record for over 100 years, from 1854-1989.
Flying Cloud was built by Donald McKay at his East Boston shipyard. She was known for her close race with the clipper ship Hornet in 1853; for having a woman navigator, Eleanor Creesy, wife of Josiah Perkins Creesy who skippered the Flying Cloud on two record-setting voyages from New York to San Francisco; and for sailing in the Australia and timber trades.
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