FOUR-MASTED SCHOONER (or SCOTTISH BARQUE) COUNTY OF EDINBURGH, STRANDED Manasquan, Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, USA., February 1900.
From the Original Oil on Canvas
ANTONIO NICOLO GASPARO JACOBSEN (Danish / American 1850-1921)
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A MASTERPIECE OF MARINE ART
great technical skill, Antonio Jacobsen was a prolific painter of ships
visiting or based in New York. He is thought to have produced over 6,000
works of which County of Edinburgh
is emphatically his finest.
He typically painted
vessels in profile, placed in the exact centre of
the frame surrounded, by large areas of sky and ocean. Na´ve really, but
this appealed to his customers who were mostly the owners and masters of
the vessels he painted. He was, however, meticulous in his detailing of
the vessels themselves, as can be seen above, presumably because his
customers knew the subjects intimately and demanded precise renditions. Everything else in his work was
subordinated to the main subject often being reduced to an impressionistic sketch, but here this just happens to enhance the
image, the waves and the roughly crafted line of carriages serving to draw the eye
to the main subject. The carriages counterbalance the angle of the vessel without
themselves being a distraction. Combined with the dramatic and very
unusual view of the vessel from behind and below, these details create an image of
Unusually for Jacobsen,
the original is on canvas rather than his more typical academy
board, so he knew he was going to be doing something special before he
started. Our restored image has been cropped from the original painting to emphasize the vessel's lean to the right
and position it in the frame so as to add tension to the image, strongly suggesting the desire of the
vessel to free itself and move back out to sea. The
result is also more balanced and very much more pleasing to the eye.
The image was also given a comprehensive restoration to remove stretcher
bruising, vast amounts of grime and a surprising number of residual
drafting lines that confused and blurred the rigging.
The question is, for
whom was this painted? Certainly not the master who would rather forget
his serious error of seamanship, and the owners definitely would not wish
potential customers to see a painting of one of their vessels in such
danger. Maybe an evil-minded, competing ship-owner would have treasured
this image. Whoever it was, we can thank them for one of the finest
marine images ever produced.
The County of
Edinburgh was built for Robert J. Craig by Barclay Curle & Company at Whiteinch, Edinburgh and
launched June, 1885. The 285 feet long, iron hulled, four-masted vessel of
2,159 tons gross had been in trouble before. On the eve of departure for
her third voyage on 21st December 1887 she was detained in Alfred Dock,
Liverpool having been reported as being over-loaded with 3,150 tons of
salt bound for Calcutta, causing her freeboard to be just 5 feet. She was
forbidden from sailing pending a Board of Trade enquiry. After much
argument over fractions of an inch, her owner was
ordered to reduce the load until her freeboard increased to 5 feet 9
inches. It is interesting to note that her first two voyages took a total
of 18 months - Cardiff to Bombay (coal), to Calcutta (salt), to Dundee
(jute) and Penarth, Wales to Bombay (coal), to Calcutta (salt), to London
(jute & grain). She sailed under the same owners until 1904 when she was
renamed "Frieda" by her new German owners. She was sold again in 1914 to
Swedish owners, ending her days wrecked at South Rock, County Down,
Ireland on 7th November 1917.
The image shows
County of Edinburgh stranded on the beach at Manasquan close to Point Pleasant, New Jersey,
USA, having run aground on the evening of 12th February 1900 whilst
en route from Cape Town to New York. She was driven ashore
at high tide by strong winds that then turned her broadside. Fortunately
the winds shifted to off-shore so that she was in no immediate danger of
destruction. She was re-floated on the especially high-tide of 14th
February having suffered no ill effects apart from the acute embarrassment of
her master, Captain I. Webster. Jacobsen probably drafted the later
painted image from a contemporary press photograph of the event.
PAPER EDITION - Limited Edition of 100.
18 x 27 inches (457 x 687mm)
Printed Sheet: 24 x 36 inches
(610 x 914mm
FINE ART CANVAS
EDITION - Limited Edition of 100.
18 x 27 inches (457 x 687mm) - nominal.
Printed on canvas: 24 x 36 inches (610 x 914mm).
Please allow an
additional 3 days for delivery for the Canvas Edition
paper edition image size can be adjusted to
your specific framing requirement.
The original painting's faulty stern lettering has been corrected (without
modification to the script itself).
The water, dust and abrasion resistant canvas should be put on a stretcher or
laid on backing board before framing. It will not need to be under glass.
Canvas is a natural product that can shrink slightly and unpredictably
after printing. Do not order a stretcher or frame until you have
measured your delivered print.
(5) If you wish and at no extra cost, the canvas print will be
finished with a satin varnish to make it suitable for unprotected
(6) Canvas prints may be subject to import duty and local sales tax.