Beautiful Folk Art Bas Relief Plaque of Schooner ‘America’

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The first winner of, and the basis for establishing, the most famous race in yachting, The America’s Cup. Bas relief Half Hull of Schooner “AMERICA” on painted background

Signed M. Blanchard

Framed 33″ x 23″ x 1 ½”Weight 13 ½ lbs.

Presented is a beautifully executed Bas Relief half hull model of the famous Schooner “AMERICA”. The painting is done on oak wood planks, with the schooner half hull in full sail affixed to the background. This is classic American seafaring Folk Art by M. Blanchard. The artist’s signature is normally on the bottom right corner, but in this case, it is missing, with some barely legible indication of initials or signature on the bottom left corner. This is the third piece we’ve had by this artist, and his work is very identifiable. As we’ve not been able to locate any information on the artist, we are not able to assign a date to this piece, but we think the early 20th century. There is a hand lettered emblem on the top right section of the painting that reads as follows: AMERICA, Winner of the Royal Yacht Squadron Queen’s Cup 1851, Builder – William H. Brown, Owner – John Cox Stephens, Designed By – George Steers.

Schooner “America” Specifications: LOA 100ft 6in (30.6m), LWL 90ft 4in (27.5m), Beam 23ft (7m), Draught 11ft 6in (3.5m), Displacement 146 tonnes, Sail area 5,263 sqft (488.9 sqm)

On August 22, 1851, the low black schooner (2-masted sailboat) America sailed around the Isle of Wight in a race to win a silver ewer (pitcher) from the Royal Yacht Squadron. Beating 14 other yachts to the finish, won the contest.

At first, America’s crew considered melting down their prize, valued at  £100 (100 English pounds), to make commemorative medals of their victory. What they did with the trophy instead laid the foundation for what has become the longest contested trophy in international sport.

The America’s Cup ewer

The crew donated their trophy to the New York Yacht Club, under the condition that the cup “be preserved as a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries,” and the America’s Cup race was born.

From 1870, the next time the race was held, until 1980, American yachts won the America’s Cup race 24 times without a loss (the race is held irregularly). The Australian yacht Australia II finally took the cup when it won the race in 1983. Although Americans regained the cup in the next race (in 1987), non-American challengers have won a number of times in the last few decades. New Zealand successfully defended the Cup with its victory in America’s Cup 2000. Since that time, the cup has been challenged and won by both the US and New Zealand, who won the last challenge in 2017.

Detail of Markings

We think that these Bas Relief 3 dimensional pieces of seafaring art, as they encompass both half hull and diorama aspects, make fine and interesting additions to any decor

.CONDITION: The general condition of this work is very good. There is a crack in the wood almost mid way up from the bottom, but we don’t feel it in any way detracts from this fine piece. It would be the result of the wood drying out over an extended period of time. There is also some craquelure mostly in the sky area and upper right hand corner of the painting. And there is some minor paint loss on the sails, but again, it just attests to the age of the piece. We estimate that this was done in the early 20th century.

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