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    Description

    XANTHUS SMITH (American, 1839-1929)
    Palmettos at Port Royal, 1866
    Oil on canvas
    8 x 12 inches
    Signed and dated lower right: Xanthus Smith, 1866
    Inscribed verso: Palmettos at the Mouth of Station Creek / Port Royal, S.C. / Painted by Xanthus Smith / 1866

    PROVENANCE:
    Frank S. Schwarz & Sons, Philadelphia (label verso)

    ILLUSTRATED:
    The Philadelphia Marine Tradition, Nov. 1983, Cat. No. XXI, No. 2.

    Xanthus Smith, a prolific painter of Civil War maritime scenes, was born into a family of artists in Philadelphia. He was educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and at the Royal Academy in London. But it was his first-hand experience in the Civil War as he served on the USS Wabash that he drew upon to complete his masterpieces of Civil War.

    In Palmettos at Port Royal, Smith gives a superb account of South Carolina as he saw it when he served onboard the Wabash at that location from 1862-1863. Smith would complete sketches during the war, sometimes taking a launch to the shore to complete pictures from a different perspective such as this piece. The above was completed in 1866 just after the war, hence the calm scene depicts ships in the distance and a smaller craft in the foreground. Smith was a master at using the small canvas to capture detail, as he put it, "small, compact and neat," in this case incorporating the South Carolina palmetto tree prominently in the composition.






    Condition Report*: Canvas has been wax relined, approximately 1 x 1 cm area of inpainting in the upper left quadrant, otherwise condition commensurate with age. 
    *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: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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