• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7489

    Important Maritime Art

    31 October 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 119

    David Brackman (b.1932)

    Britannia leading the fleet having rounded the turning mark, with the crew of Candida dropping her spinnaker as she approaches, and Lulworth and Shamrock running downwind towards the mark

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    David Brackman (b.1932)
    Britannia leading the fleet having rounded the turning mark, with the crew of Candida dropping her spinnaker as she approaches, and Lulworth and Shamrock running downwind towards the mark
    signed 'David Brackman' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    32 x 50 in. (81.3 x 127 cm.)


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    Britannia, built for King Edward VII when Prince of Wales in 1893, was undoubtedly the most famous racing cutter of them all. Hugely successful during her long life, she won 33 firsts out of 39 starts in her maiden season and competed against all the fastest yachts of the day. Sold in 1897 - although bought back for cruising in 1901 by which time the Prince of Wales had succeeded to the throne - her second racing career really came into its own when King George V had her refitted for big class competitions in 1921. Under the King's enthusiastic ownership, Britannia went from success to success. Despite being re-rigged seven times in all, her hull shape was so efficient that she remained competitive almost to the end and was only finally outclassed by the big J-class boats introduced in the mid-1930's. King George V died in 1936 and under the terms of his will, Britannia was stripped of her salvageable gear and scuttled off the southern tip of the Isle of Wight.

    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 95½ tons gross (174 Thames), she measured 117 feet in length overall with a 20½ foot beam and was completed principally as a response to a slight change in the International Rules in 1928. A highly successful boat, she too was a frequent sight at Cowes during that golden decade before the Second World War interrupted the sport for so long.

    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 (111½ net and 186 Thames) and measured 95½ 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. Ironically, Britannia (the King's yacht) and Lulworth were both laid up after the 1935 Season, the former never to sail again due to the King's death in January 1936, the latter for sale to Mr. Carl Bendix who kept her until the Second world War. Somehow surviving hostilities, she was refitted after the War and is still afloat and sailing competitively despite numerous changes of ownership.

    Owned by Sir Thomas Lipton and designed and built by William Fife at Fairlie in 1908, Shamrock was a composite cutter of 175 tons gross (94 net) and was constructed to the International 23-metre class. Measuring 113 feet in length (75½ feet at the waterline) with a 20½ foot beam, she proved a great success and won many prizes for Lipton.

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