• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5386


    21 May 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 83

    Thomas Oliver (b.1979)

    Cambria and Mariette racing in the Solent

    Price Realised  


    Thomas Oliver (b.1979)
    Cambria and Mariette racing in the Solent
    signed 'Thomas Oliver' (lower left)
    oil on board
    12 x 18 in. (30.5 x 45.8 cm.)

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    The second of the two famous Cambrias - her earlier namesake had been the first America's Cup challenger in 1870 - was designed and built by William Fife at Fairlie in 1928. Owned by Sir William Berry, later Viscount Camrose, the proprietor of the Daily Telegraph newspaper, she was a magnificent Bermudian-rigged 23-metre composite cutter which soon became one of the most well-known racing yachts of her day. Registered at 162 tons Thames (86 gross and net), she measured 93 feet in length (75 feet at the waterline) with a 20½ foot beam and a 10½ draft. After a relatively short career at Cowes and elsewhere in home waters, she was sold to H.F. Giraud of Izmir (Turkey) in the mid-1930s; he renamed her Lillias, removed her to Chios in the Aegean and thus she was lost to the British racing scene for which she had been created in its golden years.

    Mariette was one of the many American visitors to Cowes in that golden era between the two World Wars even though she had actually been built during the first of them. Launched in 1916 from Nat Herreshoff's yard on Rhode Island, she was ordered by J.F. Brown of Boston who kept her until 1927. Measuring 109 feet in length overall, she was a classic craft and one of the few still surviving today after a comprehensive restoration by Fairlie at Hamble.

    Special Notice

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    Saleroom Notice

    Please note additional description from the artist: Off Sea View, America's Cup Jubilee 2001