Measurement: Frame: 23.25" x 30.75"; view: 16.75" x 24"
Material: Watercolor on paper, walnut frame, gilt liner
Condition: Foxing, strong color
Additional Information: American harbor scene, the location is American and likely
Manhattan given the “City” and “American” hotels; another building displays signage
reading “New York Clothing Store”. The flag, strolling people, and overall perspective of
this composition display a wonderful folk quality.
Waterfront environs displaying a moored ship having “Nahum Ward” painted on stern
board. There is a man aboard the vessel, man, and horse within small warehouse;
wharf surrounded by early buildings. Ward was a member of the famous Shrewsbury,
Massachusetts Rev-War patriot family. Very good condition, tiny piece of glass missing
at lower left. The work is mounted within a molded walnut frame with gilt liner.
Frame: 21" x 17"; view: 12.25" x 9.5"
The ship is distinguishable by the unusual sail projecting below the bowsprit secured to
the bobstay…known as the “Jimmy Greensail” according to a legend attached to the
verso. Affixed to paper sealing the back is the label of J.F. Cabot & Brother, Gilders and
Picture Framers, 89 Sudbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. According to a Historic
New England database they were in business 1878 to 1888.
Dwight Whiting was our consignors’ great grandfather who moved to Southern
California from Boston in the late 1800’s. The consignor acquired the painting from his
sons, George Whiting. Other provenance, (and lore) all within the Whining family
available. (Frame: 32" x 23.5"; view: 20" x 28.5")
Measurement: Frame: 16.5" x 10.5"; view: 15" x 9")
Material: Watercolor on watermarked paper
Condition: Excellent original condition; front and back framed in glass.
Additional Information: Watercolor depicting sailor on little boat above the poem “MA
Nacelle” [My Little Boat, 1815-1829] by Pierre-Jean de Béranger. Watercolor and ink on
thin white paper; two large “eagle and Napoleon” watermarks in circles. The verso a
continuum of the poem in script; front and back framed in glass.
Pierre-Jean de Béranger (19 August 1780 – 16 July 1857) was a prolific French poet
and chansonnier (songwriter), who enjoyed great popularity and influence in France
during his lifetime, but faded into obscurity in the decades following his death. He has
been described as "the most popular French songwriter of all time" and "the first
superstar of French popular music". (Wikipedia)
The above described once belonged to Herman Melville, author of the world famed
novel, Moby Dick. Melville acquired art on one his voyages to Europe. The bulk of the
Melville art collection is in the Melville Room Museum at the Berkshire Atheneum in
Pittsfield, Massachusetts. This piece was acquired by our consignor from Adrienne
Metcalf, the great granddaughter of Melville. It was passed down to Adrienne and her
sister, Anne Westmoreland, from David Metcalf, great grandson of Melville. David
owned the work by descent from his mother, Melville’s granddaughter, Eleanor Melville
Metcalf. (The work is accompanied by a letter of statement signed by Adrienne Metcalf,
third granddaughter of Herman Melville, signed March 28, 2008.)
Translation of poem available
Not a typical Dutch name; artist may have changed his name from Jordaan for marketing reasons.
The Amsterdam fly’s her national flag; mast flags represent the shipping/mercantile
company…the ship’s name and homeport of Amsterdam are painted in gold gilt with
black silhouette and proudly positioned. The Dutch ship displays a false line of painted
gun ports, [two live with cannon] a small American trading vessel is off the Jupiter’s port
side [flying American flag]. A jolly boat tender is tied to the Amsterdam, one sailor is
climbing abord while four remain afloat. A sailor is climbing rigging, another is waving to
the captain of a small sailing vessel of her stern; men are seen on the bow and
bowsprit. Within the composition are multiple national ships and pilots; also, a second
jolly boat tender powered by four sailors. Fine attention to rigging detail suggesting that
perhaps the artist swallowed the anchor, creating port and arbor pictures to be sold to
visiting sailors. The work is archivally mounted within a period and appropriate frame;
minor imperfections including scattered foxing and minor tears at borders, now repaired.
Signed and dated "A.C. NEEDHAM '21" lower left, Vose Galleries label on reverse
Oil on canvas, 16.25 by 20”
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