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Trumpy Yacht Art

Discussion in 'Trumpy Yacht' started by Barnegatter, Feb 14, 2011.

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  1. Barnegatter

    Barnegatter New Member

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    Sequoia/Serenia

    I stumbled across this thread while researching, and found it to be very informative! Here's a painting that was given to my grandfather of the 85' yacht Serenia. My great grandfather and great uncle were the engineer and captain, respectively, of the Serenia in the early to mid-1930's under the ownership of P.J. Morgan. They sailed Mr. Morgan from Camden, NJ to Florida and back each year. I was interested (and confused) by the fact the boat was originally named Sequoia (hull#140) and was commissioned by Emily Cadwalader in 1924. This was a year prior to the more well-known 104' Sequoia that later became the USS Sequoia. I'm sure that this is old hat for the well-versed Trumpy historians on YachtForums...which begs me to ask: would anyone on this thread happen to know of her fate?

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  2. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    Hello Barnegatter, Welcome to YachtForums! That is a wonderful painting. Thanks for sharing it with us. Do you know who the artist was? There were a couple of famous yacht portrait artists back in the day. Joe Selby and John Austin Taylor are two that come to mind. Beautiful work.

    Serenia, contract # 140 was built as the first Sequoia. The more well known contract # 174 was originally Sequoia II.

    My research indicates no evidence of Serenia surviving after the early 1960's. Her last record was a listing in the 1962 Lloyd's Register to owner P.T. Cox. Her Coast Guard Doc# was 224168. You could order an abstract of title that would show when she was last documented and to whom. Those old records may take extra time to retrieve.
  3. Barnegatter

    Barnegatter New Member

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    Wow! Thanks SeaEric. I just did a quick search of the two artists you mentioned, and I think the painting may have been done by Joe Selby. My grandfather told me that the artist was a one-armed African American painter (he likely named the wrong appendage) who painted the ship while it was docked in Camden. Could it be that the boat was kept at the Mathis yard? Either way, I'm going to take the painting down and examine it the next time I visit. I'll let you know what I find out.
  4. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    I have a handful of John Austin Taylor portraits of the various yachts my grandfather owned through the years. Fine work, but looks nothing like the Sirenia portrait.
  5. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    AFAIK, both artists were black men. I have a John Austin Taylor portrait of a 50' ACF named "Stymie II" that I bought on ebay. Many of the yachting art of the era looks quite similar in style. I have seen representations by both artists with varying subjects. Some are yacht specific, others are more seascapes that include the yacht.

    Its important to know that these paintings are valuable. This in addition to the historic value.
  6. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    Here is the painting I have in my office by John Austin Taylor.

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  7. Barnegatter

    Barnegatter New Member

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    That is a nice painting...I think it is interesting that you can see the captain.

    I opened up the back of my grandfather's painting last night, and was able to find the artist's signature. Looks like a definitive Joe Selby:

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  8. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    This discussion should probably be split off from the Trumpy thread... Here are a Wheeler and a Huckins in the Si-Go series. I don't have the Taylor portrait of the Si-Go VI which apparently was a Trumpy (I have no other information on the VI):

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  9. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Done! :)
  10. Trumpy Art

    Came by this thread while looking for information on Trumpys. My Father owned two, pictures attached. Both were named Arab. The larger one was built in 1925 and was 98'. The photographs were taken by Morris Rosenfield of NY.

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  11. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    Hello Anzie,
    Welcome to YachtForums! Those are some wonderful old photos. Rosenfeld was certainly the master of yacht photography. Thanks for sharing those with us.

    The first boat, to my eye, looks like a Consolidated. The scroll work on her bow suggests that as well. The second yacht, Arab is indeed a Mathis/Trumpy from 1925. She was built under contract number 157, and originally named "Alscotia". She was later named "Triad", "Arab" and lastly "Sirena". The reference I have suggests that she was lengthened from her original 98' to 103'6" in 1942. She seems to have vanished in the 1970's and is now no longer in documentation records.

    Arab is quite similar in size, year and build as "Freedom" which is been freshly rebuilt and re-launched. See her photos in this thread: http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/unique-custom-new-yachts/2409-one-last-trumpys-ever-made-2.html

    Its curious that the painting at the beginning of this thread is of an 85' yacht from 1924 "Serenia" and this last post is a 98' yacht from 1925 later named "Sirena". These are however two different boats.
  12. Manusel

    Manusel Member

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    yacht art

    Selby and Taylor were both black and self taught "pier-head" painters who talked yacht owners into having their yachts painted. Taylor may have followed in Selby's footsteps. Here are a few, not Mathis/Trumpys, but from that era. Most are closely held in the yacht owning families, but they fetch around $3000 at auctions when they come available. Someday this art will be discovered and command much greater amounts.

    More to follow shortly.

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  13. Manusel

    Manusel Member

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    yacht art

    Oops! Forgot to identify the yachts pictured above, top-to-bottom:

    Wilmar, originally Sovereign of 1927 by Aladdin of Bay City MI, Hacker Ferman design, radically modified after her WWII service

    Venetia painted 1927, looks like Mathis but not found in the Trumpy book appendix

    Williana, possibly the Willann II 1927 by NYYL&E 85'

    Aime Jean (next to Williana), originally Tramp II of 1915 by Matthews

    All above by Joe Selby. The bottom boat is:

    High Tide by John Austin Taylor
  14. Manusel

    Manusel Member

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    more yacht art

    Here are some more:

    Ilah, originally Ednada III 1911 Mathis

    Mascotte, originally Josephine, 140' Cox & Stevens, Newport News Drydock, 140', HMCS Reindeer in WWII

    Minoco as Reposo, 1930 Mathis, 98.5'

    Olive K. 1929 Defoe 172' for Charles Kettering , CEO General Motors

    Ramna as Alto Rocca, 102' Luders 1925

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  15. Manusel

    Manusel Member

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    oops again

    All 5 above by Joe Selby
  16. alloyed2sea

    alloyed2sea Moderator

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    Cadwalader - she,...

    .., certainly knew her way around the boatyard.
    Here she is buying (designing?) anouther fine species of watercraft.
    Savarona > About Savarona > The Story of a Ship
    Just thought some might appreciate the historical connection.
    Cheers!
    -E
  17. rawells

    rawells New Member

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    John Austin taylor

    I have lots of John Austin Taylor paintings. He was my grandfather. I accompanied him to the Juneau Alaska boat harbor a few times while he painted and sold paintings right there. He wasn't black, though not sure if it matters. He and my grandmother emigrated to the US from Australia. I can forward some pics of yachts if anyone is interested.
    Mark Mihelich likes this.
  18. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    Hello rawells, Welcome to YachtForums! It's great that you found this thread. I would love to see more of your grandfather's work. If you can post some photos, please be sure that they are no more than 640 wide to accommodate screen width. Thanks!
  19. rawells

    rawells New Member

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    John Austin Taylor watercolors

    Here are some small images of his watercolors.

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  20. KPAEsq

    KPAEsq New Member

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    Familiar family story

    Barnegatter-

    My sister also has a Selby portrait of the Serenia. She inherited the portrait prior to your post from our grandfather with a similar story about the one armed painter, and a relative that used to crew the yacht. Sounds like you could be a cousin, but I am unaware of any cousins in NJ. Do you have the painting? Could there be two portraits of the Serenia by Selby? Either way, I am interested in learning more about the engineer and the captain as my connection to those stories, my grandfather (KRA Sr. if you are a relative) and subsequently my grandmother (FOA) have since passed.

    I wish there was a better way to inquire, but I just happened upon this thread.
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