Ship Portrait British Bark GLANIVOR by Reginald Borstel

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Attributed to Reginald A. Borstel (1875-1922)


Oil on canvas                                           19th
Viewing area 22 1/2 x 16″                       Framed 29
1/2″ x 23″
Unsigned                                                   Attributed to Reginald
A. Borstel.                              
Presented is a finely detailed
British sailing vessel, the Bark (Barque) “GLANIVOR”. She was built in 1878 by W. Duford &
Son, Sunderland in 1878 for the Eryri Shipping Co of Wales. Lloyd’s Register of Shipping for 1883-84 shows her principal
registered specifications as 230.5′ Length between perpendiculars, Breadth 35.1″ and draft 21.2′. Iron hull of 1084 Tons.
Classed 100 A 1. William Thomas was her master.
Eryi Shipping Co., was a small line of four ships that carried mainly
slate which was mined near her home port, Gaenavorn, in trans-oceanic trade. Glanivor, along with Glanpadarn, Glanperis
& Glandinorwig made up the fleet. Their names celebrated towns in the region, while the company name in
English means “place of the eagles” which is the name of the area in which the slate was mined.  The stone
cargos were carried by sail to cities worldwide. Little else is known about this company or her ships.
The ship portrait is a classic,
original oil painting of the GLANIVOR under full sail. Her grey hull with white whale stripe and black
gun ports and black sheer line is a typical scheme of this period. She is sailing close to the wind, gracefully
cutting through medium seas with a “bone in her teeth”. There is another sailing vessel in the background. A British
ensign, the “Red Duster”, fly’s from her mizzen. 
The sky is a brilliant blue with many fair weather clouds. A truly
majestic ship done in the ship portrait style of the 1880’s. A heavy custom wood and bullion gilt frame is
included. The condition of the painting is excellent and shows a great deal of detail and realistic figures of the crew.
It was purchased at auction from a New England Estate with a label stating “attributed to Lai Fong”. However, noted art
authority Louis J. Dianni, of Fishkill, NY and Sunrise, FL attributes this work to clearly that of Reginald A. Borstel.
There is no doubt that Borstel has captured
the ship realistically and portrays her sails and rigging accurately.
CONDITION: It has been relined. The frame
is thought to be original or at least of the period. It has some missing gesso, and gilt. The painting is in good condition
with no known repair.
Aft Section     
             Graceful Bow with detailed

 This hull paint scheme was popular during the late 1800’s

 A ship portrait in the classic China Trade style of the British Bark GLANIVOR under
full canvas


Reginald Arnold Borstel was born in Newtown, Sydney, Australia in 1875, the son of a ship
master. He followed his father to the sea, and advanced in rank to chief mate of the full-rigged ship RABOETEL. From
these beginnings he developed a seaman’s eye to the ships he painted. He developed a relationship with the Adelaide
Photo Company of Sydney, and worked from their photographs to create oil paintings showing the ships under windy
conditions with choppy seas.

He is known as one of the last Australian marine artists to be commissioned ship owners
and their captains to paint, what came to be, the last days of the Glory Day of Sail. Bridging the transition
from sail to steam, he concentrated on painting the last of the windjammers still plying the waters of the Pacific.

Borstel produced numerous ship portraits that became post cards, advertisements and sailing
posters from his studio in Newtown, Australia . He left the world a strong legacy of ship portraits before
his untimely death at age 46. His works are eagerly sought by collectors interested in seafaring as a way of commerce.

Back of painting shows relining

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