Document No 284: The Dauntless

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AUTEUR : J. E. Buttersworth

REF : 0

EDITION : 1875

DATE : 1875



signed 'J.E. Buttersworth' (lower right) oil on canvas 20 x 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm.) painted circa 1875. The second scene entitled Dauntless shows her chasing down Lester Wallack's yacht with a ballooner set and all men on deck trimming in the sails while on a broad reach surfing down the large seas. Dauntless, originally modeled and built as the sloop L'Hirondelle in 1866 by Forsyth & Morgan of Mystic, Connecticut for S.D. Bradford; L'Hirondelle was sold to James Gordon Bennett, the colorful publisher of the New York Herald and a member of the New York Yacht Club in the spring of 1867. He had her modified into a schooner by J.B. van Deusen shipyard, lengthening her waterline, and re- rigging her as a schooner. Renamed Dauntless, she was introduced to the New York yachting scene that same summer. Grossing 299 tons, she measured 121 feet in length with a 25 foot beam and proved a flyer from the start. At the start of the 1867 racing season, Dauntless sailed across the Atlantic to race in British waters. Three years later, in 1870, Dauntless raced Sir James Ashbury's schooner Cambria, the America's Cup challenger for that year, back across the Atlantic, from Daunt's Rock, Cork Harbour (Ireland) to Sandy Hook which preceeded the 1870 Cup match. James Ashbury won that transatlantic dash in Cambria but Dauntless was less than two hours behind him in the race that had lasted twenty-three days. In 1871, Dauntless, now as the flagship of New York Yacht Club, was chosen to defend the America's Cup against Livonia, but due to an accident before the start she was replaced by the schooner yacht Columbia. After his failure to recover the Cup in 1871, Ashbury then pitted his brand new Livonia against Dauntless in a private race which Livonia won so convincingly that it merely made Ashbury feel even more aggrieved that he had been so decisively beaten for the Cup two years in succession. James Gordon Bennett owned the schooner until 1878. In 1882 Caldwell Hart Colt (1858-1894), the son of Hartford firearms manufacturer Samuel Colt purchased Dauntless and continued to race her until his death (on board) in 1894, when she was sold to Mrs. C. L.F. Robinson of Hartford. Henry Sears leased her and remodeled her into a houseboat. In the winter of 1915, Dauntless faced her last gale at her mooring and sank to the bottom of the harbor. Mr. Sears contacted Mr. Scott of New London, who succeeded in raising Dauntless, and towed her to Scott's yard where was broken up.


Public domain
Christie's 1995 1305