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Details & Cataloguing

Yeats: The Family Collection

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London

[Jack B. Yeats]
COLLECTION OF NINE MODEL BOATS OR HULLS, COMPRISING:
i) Three-masted ship in a bottle, base diameter 120mm. on wooden display stand; ii) Three-masted ship in a bottle, oval base 80 x 115mm., within ornate carved wooden frame, some loss to frame; iii) Three-masted ship (‘The President | Frigate Year 1800’), 580 x 460 on wooden display stand; iv) Two-masted ship (‘Moonbeam’), 1080 x 970mm., with detachable masts and sails, on wooden display stand; v) Ship’s hull (‘Coirrliun’) with metal-tipped keel, 130 x 390mm; vi) Ship’s hull (‘Mary Hynes’), 150 x 430mm.; vii) Rowing boat hull, 60 by 450mm., extensive damage and loss; viii) Ship’s hull (‘Irish Girl’), 145 x 660mm.; ix) Single-masted ship (‘Abairé’), 445 x 305mm.; many with names added by Jack B. Yeats, worn, some with worming and some loss
Quantity: 9
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Catalogue Note

During Masefield’s fortnight visit to Jack and Cottie Yeats in 1903 the two men spent days making, sailing and destroying toy boats on the Gara River (see note to previous lot). Yeats would record an ‘account of the Fleet’ in A Little Fleet (1909) while in Masefield’s novel Jim Davis (written from 1907 although only published in book form in 1911), the hero and his friend would have ‘a splendid time sailing toy boats, made out of boxes and pieces of plank’. One toy boat, in a nod to Jack Yeats’ ‘Cashlauna Shelmiddy’ was called the Snail. Early in 1906 Masefield was back in Devon and he and Yeats ‘slaughtered a ship “The Theo” with revolver shots…’ (see letter from Jack B. Yeats to T.A. Harvey, 18 February 1906).

Hilary Pyle notes that ‘Yeats continued to make toy ships for years afterwards, photographs and drawings exist of objects made from matchboxes, corks, straw, even a banana skin, and so on… …He used the toy boats as subjects for late paintings, such as ‘The Launching’ (1945); and the slight-seeming, but sympathetic, subject-matter was the foundation for works of strong imaginative content…’ (see Pyle, Jack B. Yeats a biography, 1989, p. 77).

In the London Mercury for September 1936, Yeats contributed an article entitled ‘Beach-made models’.

Yeats: The Family Collection

|
London