NEW YORK — A James Edward Buttersworth (1817-1894) painting entitled Flying Cloud on her record breaking voyage to San Francisco around Cape Horn in 89-days, April 20th 1854 nearly doubled its pre-sale low estimate to sell for $398,500 at Bonhams Important Maritime Paintings & Decorative Arts on January 25. A bidding war brewed in the crowded saleroom, and the momentum carried over to the subsequent Buttersworth lots, among them Yachts Returning from the Race Course which sold for $164,500, and Shipping off Sandy Hook which brought $100,900.
Bidders were also impressed with the excellent ship models on offer. An important American builder's model of the S.S. Peru brought $50,000. However, it was the distinctive Napoleonic prisoner-of-war models from the collection of Daniel Davidson that most excited the saleroom, demonstrating the ability of important private collections to bring excellent results at auction. Highlights from this collection include a cased Napoleonic prisoner-of-war boxwood ship model of the 74-gun ship-of-the-line H.M.S. Warrior circa 1800, which surpassed its pre-sale high estimate to sell for $23,750, while a very fine and well detailed 20th century miniature ship model of a British 70-gun ship-of-the-line tripled its pre-sale low estimate to sell for $7,500.
With four sales a year between London and New York, Bonhams dominates the maritime arts market. "We are very pleased with the results today," said Bonhams Maritime Specialist, Gregg Dietrich. "Bonhams continues to be the world leader in prisoner-of-war models and a primary source for great American maritime painters, such as Buttersworth, Jacobsen, and others."
Bonhams next auction of maritime art will be the London April 24 Marine Sale at Bonhams Knightsbridge, followed by the June 5 auction in New York.
For more information or to view the full auction, please visit bonhams.com/20482.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com