Timothy Franklin Ross Thompson (British, born 1951) America, winner of the 100 guineas (race), 1851

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Lot 98AR
Timothy Franklin Ross Thompson
(British, born 1951)
America crossing the Finish Line into immortality, with Queen Victoria watching from the royal yacht Victoria and Albert (II) astern

£ 25,000 - 35,000
US$ 31,000 - 44,000
Timothy Franklin Ross Thompson (British, born 1951)
America crossing the Finish Line into immortality, with Queen Victoria watching from the royal yacht Victoria and Albert (II) astern
signed T.F.Thompson' (lower right)
oil on canvas
76.2 x 122cm (30 x 48in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE -
    bought by the current owner from the artist, c.1987.
    Private collection, U.K.


    Towards the finish of that memorable 1851 race, Queen Victoria – aboard her yacht Victoria & Albert (I) – turned to her signal-master and asked if the yachts were in sight. When told that they were, the Queen enquired "Which is first?" "The America" replied the signal-master, to which the Queen responded "Which is second?" "Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second" came the reply, an astonishingly prescient remark soon to become part of the folklore surrounding what is arguably the world's greatest sporting legend, a legend born the moment America crossed the line on 22nd August 1851. The winner's trophy which was subsequently taken back to the New York Yacht Club was, at that stage, known simply as the 'Hundred Guinea Cup' and it resided, unchallenged, in its new home for fully nineteen years before the first Englishman – Mr. James Ashbury – tried to win it back. After his two unsuccessful attempts in 1870 and 1871, successive challenges became a regular feature of the world's yachting calendar and the series of races themselves quickly became known as 'the America's Cup'.

    As for America herself, she was sold after her legendary victory in 1851 and remained in British waters, under various owners, until 1861 when she became first a Confederate blockade runner and then a Union blockade enforcer. After the American Civil War she became a school ship for U.S. midshipmen and was even refitted by the U.S. Navy to compete in the first America's Cup defence races in 1870. Sold to General Benjamin Butler in 1873, he lavishly refurbished her and thereafter she raced competitively until 1901. Eventually presented to the U.S. Naval Academy, she was destroyed in 1942 when the roof of her boathouse collapsed onto her under the weight of heavy snow.
Timothy Franklin Ross Thompson (British, born 1951) America crossing the Finish Line into immortality, with Queen Victoria watching from the royal yacht Victoria and Albert (II) astern
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