Antique Watercolor, My Little Boat, Sailor at Helm, Ma Nacelle, Herman Melville Collection
Watercolor on watermarked paper by F. Johannot; Johannot Mill, Annonay, France
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 this 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.
This work by decent to Herman Melville’s granddaughter, Eleanor Melville Metcalf is accompanied by a
letter of statement signed by Adrienne Metcalf, third granddaughter of Herman Melville,
signed March 28, 2008.
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)
Translation of poem available (Frame: 16.5" x 10.5"; view: 15" x 9")
Painting, Frigate in Rough Waters
Oil on canvas, c. 1820 – 1840
Well-executed maritime painting of a frigate attempting to embark. Sails are drawn with hands aboard, moving with the tide into what seems to be calmer waters. Inscription in modern hand on reverse of reinforcing board reads, [“Painted by J. Leman”/Who apprenticed with/ Penniman in Boston at the/ same time as Nathan Negus]. Possibly original period frame, has been restored and reinforced.
(View: 23” x 15.5”; Frame: 27” x 22”)
Maritime Painting, Dutch Merchantman & American Trading Vessel
Jupiter * Amsterdam
Getekend door [drawn by, Dutch] J. Jordan
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.
Marine Painting, Clipper Ship, Young America, Oil on Sheet iron
Young America, Built by William Webb, 1853, East River, NYC
Signed C.M. Vaccarra [sic] unknown, Circa 1890ish
Launched at the height of clipper ship boom, known for her speed, sailed the California trade with voyages to the Far East and Australia. She displays her house and American flags and is depicted with a pilot boat at her stern.
(Strong color, unrestored; mounted within carved walnut frame with gilt liner that appears to be original; frame: 29.5 by 20.5", sight-size: 23.5 by 14.5")
Marine Painting, The Iceberg, Alfred Carter Needham (1872 to 1952)
Manchester, Massachusetts, Signed 1921
Signed and dated "A.C. NEEDHAM '21" lower left, Vose Galleries label on reverse
Oil on canvas, 16.25 by 20”
Watercolor, Gunboat Maria, Soldiers in Uniform on Deck
Anonymous, Likely Early 19th Century
(Water stain limited to extreme bottom margin, else fine; 13 by 11.25”, sight-size: 9.5 by 7.75”)
Burning Ship At Sea
Oil on canvas
A sailing ship flying her American colors come to the rescue.
Mounted on original stretcher within original frame. (Frame: 26.25 x 22 inches; view: 19 x 15.25 inches.)