Lot Sale Results

Montague J. Dawson

Montague J. Dawson

Montague J. Dawson

Montague J. Dawson

Montague J. Dawson
Historical International Art Online auction

Lot # 304

Montague J. Dawson
FRSA RSMA 1895 - 1973 British

The Flying Cloud
oil on canvas
signed and on verso titled on the gallery label and stamped Made in England
20 x 30 in  50.8 x 76.2cm

Provenance:
Watson Art Galleries, Montreal
By descent to the present Private Collection, Toronto

Montague Dawson was one of the preeminent maritime artists of the twentieth century, which is reflected by the inclusion of his works in the collections of the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. The artistís prominence is made even more extraordinary as he never received any formal art training. Dawson began drawing as a young child and honed his illustration skills in 1910 at a commercial art studio. His attention to technical detail and his highly realistic style created a strong demand for his seascapes. While occasionally depicting ships from the late seventeenth century, Dawson was best known for his depictions of nineteenth century clipper ships.

The Flying Cloud, one of the distinguished American extreme clippers, was built by Donald McKay in 1851 in East Boston and bought by Grinnell, Minturn & Co. of New York for $90,000. Within six weeks of her launch, The Flying Cloud ran the New York to San Francisco trade route via Cape Horn and on her maiden voyage set a record speed on the route. The voyage usually took more than 200 days to cover 16,000 miles, and The Flying Cloud then bested this on her fourth voyage. She set the world record at 89 days and 8 hours, anchor to anchor, which was a record that stood for 136 years. While the record performance was significant in and of itself, it was even more unique because the navigator was a woman, Eleanor Cressey. Cressey was one of the first navigators to use the course recommended by Matthew Fontaine Maury, the father of modern oceanography, in his Sailing Directions. Due to a lack of cargo, the clipper was out of commission for over two years before being sold to new owners in 1859. Thereafter, she traded out of London, including one tea voyage in 1860 and a charter to return troops home from Hong Kong in 1861 to 1862. In her final years, The Flying Cloud was involved in the timber trade before being wrecked in 1874 on Beacon Island bar, outside St. Johnís, Newfoundland.

In The Flying Cloud, Dawson captures the speed for which extreme clippers were known through his realistic portrayal of the cresting, choppy waves and billowing sails. The Flying Cloud typifies Dawsonís attention to detail, right down to the minutia of the crew aboard the deck of the ship.

Estimate: $50,000 ~ $75,000 CAD

Sold For: $55,250.00 CAD (including buyer's premium)


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