Document No 3978: Schooner Idler, New York Yacht Club Regatta

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AUTEUR : J. E. Buttersworth

REF : 0

EDITION : 1870




Oil on Canvas Circa 1870
12 x 16 Inches. - 19½ x 23¾ Inches. Framed
Signed LR: J.E. Buttersworth

The most significant of the annual yacht races, the Regatta of the New York Yacht Club is the highlight of the summer season, with the 150TH such event being held this year, 2006. (The first was held in 1845.) In the 1860s-70s, thousands of spectators would take to the shores and observation ships to personally watch the racing regatta around the Sandy Hook Lightship course. Here, the winner of the Regatta in both 1869 and 1870, the Schooner IDLER, is featured in the center of this narrative portrait by the premier artist to perform commissions for the N.Y.Y.C., J.E. Buttersworth, while two of the club's big sidewheel excursion ships labor to stay ahead and watch the entire field of racing yachts.

The 133-ton schooner was one of the first built immediately following the American Civil War in 1865. IDLER, with her smooth and mostly open planked decks having a decidedly unique profile, was built for A.J. Fisher of Chicago by Samuel Pook of Fairhaven, Mass. Flying proudly in this race, marking it decidedly as a club event, is the Rear Commodore's Flag belonging to George L. Kingsland, a knickerbocker of a somewhat conservative reputation and stern continence, and is listed as being owned by Ambrose C. Kingsland, the one-time mayor of New York City, politician behind Central Park and numerous property developments. George Kingsland would continue to serve under Commodore J.G. Bennett, Jr. from 1871-1874, and be elected Commodore in 1875 for one turmoil- filled year. Under Bennett's stewardship, and with the ever-present accounts in the New York Herald newspaper, the sport would hit its widest and most passionate audience. Bennett sponsored several impressive Silver Cup Trophies as well in this era, becoming quite the valuable nautical cups for the Cape May Race, and others.

Between the 1870 NYYC Regatta and Club's late summer cruise, both won by IDLER, came the racing event of the season, which has come to be known as the First Defense of the America's Cup, wherein 23 keel schooners and centerboarders raced against the English challenger, CAMBRIA. In that race, IDLER finished second to only MAGIC.

Buttersworth frequently accepted commissions from many of the era's most important yachtsmen, who wished to preserve their seasonal victories. The sharp details and gracefully drawn hull lines of the schooner yacht are well represented, in a realistic first-person view with the important details of the Lightship, other racing yachts, the excursion steamers, and a colorful look at the action onboard the eventual winner of the Regatta. IDLER here lives up to the Club's motto: “Nos Agimur Tumidisvelis”, or, “We go with swelling sails.”


Public domain
Vallejo Maritime Gallery 1000 730,_New_York_Yacht_Club_Regatta&category=&id=1529&