Charles Gregory (United Kingdom, 1810-1896) important oil on canvas marine painting of the 1870 America's Cup Yacht Race, depicting the Cambria, representing the Royal Thames Yacht Club, racing against one of seventeen American schooners. The ships are in full sail, under a partly cloudy sky, with sailors visible on deck, and smaller vessels – including the Sandy Hook light ship- in the background. Signed "Charles Gregory" lower right. Titled on plaque affixed to front of frame. Label en verso of frame for RJ Stannard Picture Frame Manufacturers, London. Housed in a likely original giltwood frame with acanthus, husk and rope moldings. Sight – 27 1/2" H x 35 1/2" W. Framed – 39" H x 47" W. Note: the 1870 America's Cup was the first to be hosted in the United States, and was declared by the New York Herald that year to be "the most exciting yachting event on record." It was the first challenge to the Cup since 1851, when the yacht America had claimed the "100 Guinea Cup," an annual lap of the Isle of Wight, and brought the trophy to the United States. Nineteen years later, British tycoon James Ashbury and the crew of his yacht, the Cambria, believed she could reclaim the trophy for England. They mounted what was, ultimately, an unsuccessful challenge against seventeen schoolers from New York Yacht Club on August 7, 1870. An estimated 100,000 people watched as Franklin Osgood's Magic, the overall winner, successfully retained the cup, and became the trophy's first defender. The artist, Charles Gregory, was considered the premier yacht portraitist of his day. He was born and painted his entire life on the isle of Wight, known then (as now) as the yachting capital of Great Britain. Provenance: Private Chattanooga area collection. CONDITION: Overall very good condition with yellowing and some grime to varnish layer. Scattered craquelure. Frame: Some wear and regilding to frame; scattered shrinkage and small losses.
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