Marine Art

Sloop Yacht Defender

Yacht Defender
Antonio Jacobsen, signed, 1897    

In 1895, Defender was built at the Herreshoff Company in Bristol, Rhode Island and successfully defended the America's Cup, with a crew from Deer Isle, Maine. Defender was radical, having a bronze bottom and aluminum topsides, creating a floating battery, which dissolved aluminum. She was dismantled in 1901, but was functional long enough to challenge the new Columbia in 1899 to become the Cup defender. 

Pilot House Eagle

Carved wooden eagle, gilded, from the pilot house of a Penobscot Bay steamer. Eagles were the common carving found on the tops of steamboat pilot houses.

Billet Head

Billet head in the form of a small scroll. About two feet long (or tall as it is shown here.) This carving has only the scroll carved in three dimensions; the rest is incised. The groove in the edge mates to the vessel's stem.

Scrimshaw: Emerald Tooth

Highly unusual for Maine is this scrimshawed sperm whale tooth by a sailor named Pettegrow from Rockland Maine. The other side has a image of the whaler Emerald. There were vessels of this name out of New Bedford and Sag Harbor.


Empire ogee mirror with reverse painting on glass at top. Painting shows a half-brig or brigantine with an American flag. The heavily raked masts and gunports are in the style of the privateers out of the Chesapeake in the War of 1812, which were commonly called Baltimore Clippers.

Sea Chest

Sea chest with image of vessel Challenger painted inside. She was the Down Easter Challenger launched by the Sewall yard in Bath in 1877.

Needlepoint: Manuel Llaguna

Needlepoint picture of the Manuel Llaguno, one of Wiliam Whorf's maritime history series. Whorf's spelling (Llaguna) varies slightly from the correct Llaguno.

Wool Embroidered Picture

Silk and wool embroidered picture of a British Man-of-War. The single row of guns shows it to be a frigate and the White Ensign shows that it belongs to the Royal Navy. Woolen pictures were done by sailors and captains. In England they were called "woolies."

Packet Ship Nabraska

The Nabraska (sic) Nebraska was one of hundreds of packets (ships operating on schedule) sailing the Atlantic before the Civil War. She was built in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1845, for New York owners, and sailed to Liverpool that year and to Marseilles in 1847. She made at least one trip to China (1850), and like many packets, she switched to the southern cotton trade and was lost off Texas in 1857.

HMS Seahorse Capturing La Sensible

The British prided themselves on winning single-ship fights against the French. In June 1798, the 38-gun British frigate HMS Seahorse, under the command of Captain Edward J. Foote, captured the French frigate Le Sensible off the coast of Sicily. The battle, much of which took place at close quarters, lasted less than 15 minutes.


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