DescriptionAttributed to WILLIAM DE LEFTWICH-DODGE (American, 1867-1935)
A Pair of Oval Paintings of Cupids from the Grand Salon of the Steamship "City of Detroit III" and related memorabilia, circa 1912
Oil on canvas mounted on board
47 x 30 inches (119.4 x 76.2 cm) oval, each
Private collection, Ohio.
This pair of cupids hung in the Grand Salon of the three-stack steamship, City of Detroit III, which sailed the Great Lakes from Chicago to Niagara Falls. Its maiden voyage was in 1912, and the ship was dismantled in 1956. Although these works are unsigned, they are consistent with the impressionistic style of William de Leftwich-Dodge, who painted most of the artwork on the ship.
The February 1935 issue of Telescope magazine (p. 39, which accompanies this lot) provides an invaluable portrait of the appearance of the Grand Salon of City of Detroit III, including a specific mention of William de Leftwich-Dodge's paintings for it: "From the lobby, the main stairway leads to the grand salon on the promenade deck, and leads the traveler into fairyland, a place of exquisite beauty and splendour. It is designed in the Corinthian style, the main ceiling with its massive and elaborately carved frames, being a masterpiece of carving and sculpture. Beautiful mural paintings, which the soft light properly illuminates, adorn the ceiling and are the work of William de Leftwich-Dodge, of New York. They represent "Diana riding her golden chariot drawn by doves," "Nymphs playing in trees," and other mythological subjects." The two painting of putti in their massive laurel wreath frames would have been fully compatible with the character of everything else in this room--which was designed as a complete ensemble.
These paintings as well as one of the ship's life preservers (which accompanies this lot) were removed from the steamship in 1956 by the father of the woman who sold them to the current owner.
In addition to the paintings and the life preserver, this lot is accompanied by a 1974 offset lithograph (numbered 53/750, titled and pencil signed by J. Clary) of the City of Detroit III, as well as two brochures from 1935 and 1965 about the ship.
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000.
The paintings are in very good condition in very heavy oval gilt plaster frames original to the paintings as they were presented on the walls of the ship. Framed Dimensions 53 X 37 Inches
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