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    Description

    The Hon. Paul H. Buchanan, Jr. Collection

    JAMES EDWARD BUTTERSWORTH (American, 1817-1894)

    American Steam-Sail Yacht EMILY at Sea with Four Schooners Off Bow, circa 1878
    Oil on canvas
    14-1/4 x 20-1/4 inches (36.2 x 51.4 cm)

    PROVENANCE:
    Private collection;
    Purchased from Quester Gallery, Connecticut, April 30, 1996 (label verso).

    LITERATURE:
    R.J. Schaefer, J. E. Buttersworth, 19th-Century Marine Painter, Mystic, Connecticut, 1975, pp. 189-90, no. 166 ill. black and white.

    Over the course of nearly thirty years of collecting American art, Paul Buchanan was particularly drawn to marine painting, and owned a number of works by James Buttersworth. As was his wont, the Judge continually upgraded his collection, selling lesser examples when the opportunity arose to acquire finer ones, to assure that his holdings remained tight and choice. At the end of his life Buchanan owned the two wonderful examples of by Butterfield's work in the present sale. He firmly ascribed to the opinion of James Buttersworth which John Wilmerding put forth in his 1968 groundbreaking survey, History of American Marine Painting: "Among a host of contemporaries he was one of the last and best of a long roll of America's ship and yacht portraitists."

    In Buchanan's hand, on the reverse of the protective cardboard back of the painting, is a history and physical description of the steam-sailer Emily depicted in this work: "The Emily owned by Theodore Meyers in 1875. Built by Jay Lennox in Brooklyn 1869. Measured 90 feet overall, 82 feet waterline, 16 foot beam, and a draft of 4 ft. 6 in. pictured on page 189 in Rudolph Schaefer's book on J. E. Buttersworth."

    In addition to publishing the statistics on the yacht, Schaefer dated this portrait of it to about 1878. He also noted that Buttersworth produced at least one close version of this composition (Collection of The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland; Schaefer no. 167), adding that there may be others that have yet to be traced since the painter frequently made multiple versions of some of his works. The Hagerstown version is painted on board rather than canvas, and its dimensions are somewhat smaller (12 x 18 inches) than the Buchanan painting. As a result of its reduced dimensions, the Hagerstown version has a less expansive sky, a slightly higher horizon line, and two rather than four schooners off bow.


    Condition Report*: Canvas relined on newer stretcher bars.  Under UV examination there are a few old, scattered restorations visible in the sky; the longest (approximately 1-1/2 inches) are inpaints confined primarily to the two upper corners where the canvas fits into the frame.  Also, approximately two inches of strengthening is present at the horizon line just right of the steamboat.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    10th-11th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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