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Racing Yacht of the Jeffries Yacht Club by Thomas Willis (1850-1925)

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Mixed media portrait of a Racing Yacht of the Jeffries Yacht Club, the yacht formed in relief with sails covered in satin, the hull formed of velvet, applied to a sea and sky painted in oil on canvas. Signed in red by the artist, T. Willis, lower right. 

The Jeffries Yacht Club was chartered in 1876 and is located along the Massachusetts Bay, Boston, Massachusetts. Its members contend that theirs is the oldest yacht club on the East Coast.

Thomas Willis (1850-1925) is thought to have been born in Denmark and worked in Brooklyn, New York, as a marine artist. For a time he apparently worked for a manufacturer of silk embroidery thread, and this may have influenced his choice of medium. He advertised as an “Inventor & sole maker of silk ware pictures”, creating ship portraits with velvet hulls and satin sails applied to painted backgrounds of sea and sky. As seen in this example, silk thread would be used for the rigging and could be frayed to indicate breaking waves. Willis is known to have collaborated on occasion with his friend, Antonio Jacobsen, also Danish-born, the majority of their subjects being the passenger ships bringing emigrants from Europe to America, and arriving New York towards the end of the 19th century.

The maple veneered frame with outer dimensions 34 in x 24.5 in 


Item Code: 4125

£ 4500

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