News-Antique.com - Aug 14,2013 - NEW YORK - As the summer beach and sailing season winds down, The Curator’s Eye (www.CuratorsEye.com) highlights a stunning offering of nautical, marine, and coastal art and artifacts. From hand-carved scrimshaw, to paintings by the likes of James Buttersworth, to shipboard instruments, the continuous online exhibition of notable objects on The Curator's Eye affords dedicated collectors a unique opportunity to surf the best of nautical art.
The offering begins with an extremely rare and important polychrome scrimshaw whale tooth, attributed to the work of whaleman George Hiliott. One side displays a wonderful detailed engraving of a formally dressed woman, while the other has a Polynesian scene depicting a grass skirt-clad man and woman, palm trees, and a whaling scene. The crispness and detail of the engraving is exceptional, and both scenes are typical of Hiliott's signed scrimshaw work.
Also typical of nautical life is an exotic wood, baleen and ivory prisoner-of-war model ship with retracting cannons. Created circa 1810, this medium-size model is of the highest quality and is made of a wonderful blend of materials. With magnificent carving, accurate deck fitting, and remarkably complete rigging, this model of “Minerve” is one of the finest and highest quality prisoner-of-war models, complete with 34 retracting brass cannons. The "Minerve" was originally part of the Portuguese Navy, was captured by the French in 1809, and fought against the British Royal Navy in the Battle of Grand Port in 1810.
A more recent entry in the tradition of miniature ship building is Phillip S. Reed's Ship Model "Majestic.” Serving as the subject of Reed's 2000 book, Modelling Sailing Men-of-War, and at a scale of 3/32”, this is a detailed model of the British 74-gun ship launched at Deptford in 1785. The “Majestic” took part in the Battle of the Nile in 1798. For the last twelve years Reed has dedicated his life to full-time, professional model making and now concentrates almost exclusively on historic sailing ships such as this one.
The Yacht Race, an oil painting from 1874 by Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921), is a rare and wonderful example of the Jacobsen’s work at the beginning of his artistic career in America. The scene features two schooners from the New York Yacht Club, which was celebrating its thirtieth anniversary when The Yacht Race was created. Jacobsen’s talent is evident in his attention to detail and his handling of the water; his work holds both drama and elegance. Born in Copenhagen to a Danish violinmaker, he would become one of America’s most renowned and successful marine artists. In 1880, Jacobsen and his wife moved to Hoboken, where their home became a mecca for seafarers and artists, including fellow marine artist James E. Buttersworth.
Perhaps one year prior, circa 1873, Buttersworth created one of his own oil paintings of racing yachts, also probably from the New York Yacht Club. This rare large canvas depicts an active yacht race with an incoming squall. The yacht to the left is “Cornelia,” heeling towards