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    Maritime Paintings: Pair of Yacht Portraits of the Elizabeth Llwelyn by [Antonio] De Simone. Italian. Gouache on paper. Both paintings are 31.5" x 21" (sight size) and attractively framed in matching frames (35 x 25" overall). One painting shows the Elizabeth Llwelyn in calm seas and under full-sail facing left. The matching painting shows the same yacht in stormy seas facing right. Both paintings are signed "De Simone" in the lower-left corner.

    The De Simone family (fl. 1865-1910) was well known and highly respected as Italian ship portrait artists. The patriarch, Tomaso De Simone, and his sons, including Antonio De Simone, produced a large number of gouaches showing British sailing or steam yachts. Many were pictured Mediterranean visits to the Bay of Naples. Sometimes the De Simone family painted a pair of pictures depicting the same vessel in fair and stormy weather. Different signatures appeared on their works, the most two common are "A. De Simone" and "De Simone".

    The Elizabeth Llwelyn, launched in 1895, was one of the legendary "Western Ocean Yachts", the most elegant schooners to grace the seas. A type of topsail schooner developed at Porthmadog, North Wales the Western Ocean Yachts carried square sails on the foremast only and fore and aft sails on the main and mizzen. The yachts were easily handled by a small crew of five or six which is perhaps one of the reasons that they survived into the steam age.

    Basil Greenhill, a former director of the National Maritime Museum wrote; "The grace of their hulls and the balance of their tall spars gave them a beauty, both under way and lying at anchor, not exceeded in all the history of sailing ships."

    The Western Ocean Yachts were well suited for plying the Mediterranean trade routes and were frequently found in the waters near Gibraltar. The Elizabeth Llwelyn joined several other Western Ocean Yachts when she was lost off Gibraltar in 1912.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2008
    2nd-3rd Tuesday-Wednesday
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