William Bradford (1823-1892)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller
William Bradford (1823-1892)

Fishermen on the Bay of Fundy

William Bradford (1823-1892)
Fishermen on the Bay of Fundy
signed and dated 'W. Bradford/1861' (lower right)
oil on canvas
20 x 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted in 1861.
The artist.
Edwin Forrest, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, acquired from the above.
Edwin Forrest Home for Retired Actors, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by bequest from the above, 1872.
Christie's, New York, 2 December 1988, lot 44, sold by the above.
Acquired by the late owners from the above.
R. Ellsworth, et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Arts of Asia and Neighboring Cultures, vol. III, New York, 1993, p. 439 (as Dory with Fishermen and Boats).
New Bedford, Massachusetts, New Bedford Whaling Museum, William Bradford: Sailing Ships & Arctic Seas, May 23-November 15, 2003, pp. 14, 119, no. 34, illustrated.
Special notice
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is a lot where Christie’s holds a direct financial guarantee interest.

Brought to you by

General Enquiries
General Enquiries

Lot Essay

William Bradford was born in Salem on the North Shore of Massachusetts and raised in the whaling town of New Bedford, near Cape Cod. He made his first voyage in July 1856, sailing to the island of Grand Manan and the Bay of Fundy between Maine and Nova Scotia. The artist returned there on a later trip in 1860, and his scenes inspired by the Bay of Fundy typically feature vigorously active fishermen in small boats on choppy seas. Describing the present work dated 1861, Bradford scholar Richard Kugler writes, "All of the boats are small, two-masted, open boats of a type commonly used by New England fishermen who fished the inshore waters. For some reason, perhaps a break-down in rigging, the boat in the foreground has shipped its masts, the tips of which protrude over the stern. The sails are piled amidships, and the crew of the disabled craft appears to be taking in a tow line from the nearby boat sailing past." (unpublished letter, August 20, 1990)

Fishermen on the Bay of Fundy was originally owned by Edwin Forrest, a mid-19th century Shakespearean actor who was also Bradford's friend and patron.

More from The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller: Fine Art, Day Sale

View All
View All