• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7660

    Maritime Art

    29 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 84

    Brian J. Jones, 20th/21st Century

    Storming the Cowes Roads, 1930: Astra leading with Westward, Candida, Britannia and Lulworth behind

    Price Realised  


    Brian J. Jones, 20th/21st Century
    Storming the Cowes Roads, 1930: Astra leading with Westward, Candida, Britannia and Lulworth behind
    signed 'Brian J Jones' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    36 x 60 in. (91.5 x 152.4 cm.)

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    Designed and built by Camper & Nicholsons at Gosport in 1928, Astra was a beautiful Bermudian-rigged composite cutter of 91 tons gross (83 net) and measured 115 feet in length with a 20 foot beam. Originally built for Sir A. Mortimer Singer, the naturalised British son of the inventor of the sewing machine, she was owned for most of the 1930s by Mr. Hugh Paul who enjoyed much success with her during the so-called 'golden years' before the death of King George V after the 1935 season.

    Westward was a large racing schooner built by Nat Herreshoff in 1910. Bought soon afterwards by a syndicate of German businessmen who renamed her Hamburg, she was sold back into American ownership after the Great War and resumed her original name. In 1924 she was bought by T.B.F. Davis and thereafter became Britannia's regular challenger at Cowes. Over the years Davis and King George V developed a fierce though friendly rivalry and Westward became so beloved by her owner that he, like the King, stipulated that his boat was to be sunk after his death.

    Candida, rated at '23 metres', was designed by Charles Nicholson and built by Camper & Nicholson at Gosport for Mr. H.A. Andreae, the wealthy merchant banker, in 1929. A magnificent Bermudian-rigged cutter of 95 tons gross (174 Thames), she measured 117 feet in length overall with a 20 foot beam and was completed principally as a response to a slight change in the International Rules in 1928. A highly successful boat, she was a frequent sight at Cowes during the early 1930s although towards the middle of that decade, she was re-rigged as a ketch, fitted with an oil engine and converted for cruising. By 1939 she had been re-rigged again, this time as a yawl, and renamed Norlanda, the name she still sported after the Second World War.

    Britannia, arguably the most famous racing cutter of them all, was extremely successful throughout her long life and even though she was re-rigged seven times in all, her hull shape was so efficient that she remained competitive almost to the end. Starting with 33 wins in 39 races during her maiden season, she enjoyed two brilliant but quite separate careers under first, the Prince of Wales (1893-97), and then his son, King George V, after 1921. The latter grew so attached to her that, under the terms of his will, she was scuttled after his death in 1936 following the removal of all her salvageable gear.

    Lulworth was designed and built by White Bros. at Itchen in 1920 for Mr. R.H. Lee of Bovey Tracey, Devon. Originally christened Terpsichore and rigged as a cutter, she was registered at 123 tons gross (111 net and 186 Thames) and measured 95 feet in length with a 22 foot beam. Purchased by Sir A. Mortimer Singer - the immensely wealthy naturalised British son of the American inventor of the sewing machine - after Lee's death in 1924, Singer renamed her Lulworth, a name she retained after being purchased by Alexander Paton in 1928. A splendid boat from the start, she nevertheless came into her own under Paton's colours and became a familiar and successful competitor at Cowes during the final years of King George V's long patronage.

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