38
38

THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Ludolf Backhuysen
A FISHING PINK BEING MADE READY TO BE LAUNCHED FROM A BEACH IN A BREEZE, WITH SMALL DUTCH VESSELS INSHORE 
Estimate
150,000250,000
JUMP TO LOT
38

THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Ludolf Backhuysen
A FISHING PINK BEING MADE READY TO BE LAUNCHED FROM A BEACH IN A BREEZE, WITH SMALL DUTCH VESSELS INSHORE 
Estimate
150,000250,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

|
London

Ludolf Backhuysen
EMDEN 1630 - 1708 AMSTERDAM
A FISHING PINK BEING MADE READY TO BE LAUNCHED FROM A BEACH IN A BREEZE, WITH SMALL DUTCH VESSELS INSHORE 

Provenance

William Wells, Redleaf, Kent;

His deceased sale, London, Christie's, 13 May 1848 (2nd day's sale), lot 78*, for £110. 5s to Talbot;

Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), Margam Castle, Port Talbot, Glamorganshire;

By inheritance to his daughter, Miss Emily Charlotte Talbot, Margam Castle (1840–1918);

By inheritance in Trust to her nephew Captain Andrew Fletcher, until Margam Castle was sold in 1941;

Margam Castle Sale (by order of the Trustees of the Will of Miss Emily Charlotte Talbot), Port Talbot, Christie's, 29th October 1941, lot 360, for guineas 27. 6s to Knoedler;

Sir Chester Beatty;

Mrs David Mathias;

By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 8 December 1976, lot 75, for £6,800 to Jeegers;

Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 16 July 1980, lot 103, for £15,000 to Noortman;

With Kunsthandel Rob Kattenburg, Aerdenhout, 1981;

Stiftung Henri Nannen, Emden, by 1985;

Anonymous sale, Amsterdam, Christie's, 10 November 1992, lot 170, unsold;

With K & V Waterman Kunsthandel, Amsterdam and Mireille Mosler, Amsterdam;

From whom acquired by the present collector.

Exhibited

Amsterdam, Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum, Ludolf Bakhuysen, 1 July – 26 August 1985, no. S 20;

Emden, Ostfrisisches Landesmuseum, 1985.

Literature

B. Broos, R. Vorstman and W.L. Van de Watering, Ludolf Bakhuizen, exhibition catalogue, Amsterdam and Emden 1985, p. 46, no. S 20, reproduced p. 46;

H. Nannen, Ludolf Backhuysen, exhibition catalogue, Emden 1985, pp. 11–12, reproduced, and reproduced on title page.

Catalogue Note

Fishermen are preparing their fishing pink for launching. Already fully rigged, it sits on rollers, probably waiting for the tide to come further in to make launching into the onshore breeze easier. Although the setting is imaginary, we are on the sandy coastline of Holland near Alkmaar, or further south-west between Haarlem and Scheveningen. The prevailing westerly wind is driving the clouds along as we look towards the north-west, with the low afternoon sun to our left casting long shadows from the fisherman in red in the foreground. Close inshore, two smalschips are manoeuvering, one with the wind on its quarter, the other close-hauled, while to the right and further offshore, a wijdschip makes its way upwind along the coastline. 

This gentle coastal marine is undated, but is consistent with paintings by Backhuysen from the late 1670s and around 1680, when the artist starts to simplify his cloudscapes, as the influence of Willem van de Velde the Younger on his work, who had left for London several years earlier, recedes.

Much later, in a painting of 1697 and a related etching of 1701, Backhuysen shows how a fishing pink was launched into the wind from just such a beach. As the crew and shore-based helpers push the boat into the breakers, the mainsail is hauled up and the rudder fixed to its pintles.1  

Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot rebuilt Margam Castle in the 1830s in the newly fashionable Tudor Gothic style where it became a setting for the display and enjoyment of his collection. He was a keen yachtsman, owning a yacht, the Galatea, and he later became Vice-Commodore of the Royal Yacht Club (later the Royal Yacht Squadron) from 1851–61. Not surprisingly, his most active period as a collector was in the decade that spanned the rebuilding of Margam. He bought heavily, for example, in the Charles O'Neil sale in July 1935, his acquisitions included paintings by Van Dyck, Rubens, Konninck, Jacob van Ruisadel, William Van de Velde the Younger, Karel Dujardin, Terborch, Cuyp, Nicholas Berchem and Salvator Rosa, as well as a magnificent Samuel Scott of the Thames at Wapping, sold in these Rooms on 9 December 2009, lot 48 (fig. 1), and another work by Backhuysen, sold in these Rooms on 4 December 2013, lot 21 (fig. 2). He acquired the present picture, later to hang in the Dining Room at Margam Castle (where it can be seen in an old photograph immediately to the right of the fireplace), in the dispersal of the renowned collection of the shipbuilder William Wells (1767–1847), who had bought the Redleaf estate near Penshurst in Kent in about 1806, thereafter completely rebuilding the house, and amassing a significant collection of predominantly Dutch Old Masters.  

We are most grateful to Thomas Methuen Campbell for his help in elucidating the Margam Castle provenance.

1. See G. de Beer, Ludolf Backhuysen, Zwolle 2002, p. 173, reproduced figs 226 and 225 respectively. It doesn't look easy, and it certainly wasn't.

Old Masters Evening Sale

|
London