Signed and dated 'Antonio Jacobsen/1908' bottom right, oil on board
14 x 22 in. (35.6 x 55.9cm)
Port' N Starboard Gallery, Falmouth, Maine.
Acquired directly from the above in 1998.
Collection of Dorrance H. Hamilton.
Antonio Jacobsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1850. Because his father was a violin maker, he was trained as a musician, but he soon transitioned to painting instead, enrolling at the Royal Academy of Design in Copenhagen at an early age. When the Franco-Prussian War made it compulsory for him to join the military forces, Jacobsen decided to set sail for America. With his sketching ability he quickly peaked the interest of an executive of the Old Dominion Steamship Company, who was so impressed with his work that he asked him to paint pictures of some of the company's ships. Jacobsen is said to have painted around six thousand paintings throughout his career, almost exclusively portraits of ships. Nearly every ship that sailed in and out of New York Harbor between 1873 and 1919 was chronicled by Jacobsen. He often painted several versions of the same ship at the request of its various officers and owners. While many of these extraordinary paintings have been combined in a special Checklist published by the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Virginia, others still continue to come to light, even today.
Such is the case of the present work. To this day, only a sketch of the vessel was known (Harold S. Sniffen, Antonio Jacobsen - The Checklist, S. and P. Smith Galleries in association with the Mariners' Museum, New York, 1984, no. 30, p. 75).
The "Clara Davis" was a four-masted schooner built at Mystic, Connecticut in 1905 by William J. Baker. The boat was sold to France in 1918 and renamed "Martha" shortly after. It was eventually broken up in Sweden in 1938.
Sold for $7,500 (buyer's premium included)