JAMES EDWARD BUTTERSWORTH
The Start of the Great Transatlantic Yacht Race
oil on board
signed J.E. Buttersworth, l.r.
10 x 12 in.
Provenance: Grogan & Company, Boston, Massachusetts, Sale #68, October 28-31, 1995, Lot #438; Property of a Massachusetts Collector.
Other Notes: According to R.J. Schaefer in his book J.E. Buttersworth, 19th Century Marine Painter, the three schooners in this work are identified as "...Henrietta, owner James Gordon Bennett; Vesta, owner Pierre Lorillard, and Fleetwing, owner George and Franklin Osgood. For purposes of easier identification, they flew their assigned colors of blue, white, and red, respectively. Henrietta was first to finish off the Needles, Isle of Wight on Christmas Day in the time of 13 days, 21 hours, and 4 5minutes. The other two schooners finished by 9 hours and 5 minutes later, and within 40 minutes of each other. This was truly a great sporting event by great sportsmen! With the close finishes in the turbulent weather of that time of year, it is easy to imagine how hotly contested this event was. It was big news at the time and JEB thought so, too, becuase he painted several renditions of it, six that I know of." (Schaefer, R.J., J.E. Buttersworth, 19th Century Marine Painter, Mystic, CT, 1975, p. 154.)
The Great Race carried a prize of $90,000, with each of the participants putting up $30,000. This painting depicts the start off Sandy Hook.
The race was not without incident in the challenging December waters. Tragedy struck at one point when the Fleetwing was pooped and lost six men overboard.
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