Property of a Private Collector
The Departure of the Postal Steam Packet
signed Bolanaki lower left
oil on canvas
58 by 88cm., 22¾ by 34½in.
The canvas has been lined and is securely attached to keyed wooden stretcher.
There is a pattern of hairline craquelure throughout; however this is not distracting.
There is an even layer of varnish throughout.
Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals extensive areas of retouching mainly in the sky, including thin lines of inpainting, areas along the extreme edges and one vertical circa 10cm line in the clouds closer to the centre of the composition, possibly addressing an old tear. The signature appears to be somewhat abraded.
Overall, this work presents well and is in good condition.
Presented in a decorative gilt frame.
We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
Private collection, Greece (sale: Sotheby's, London, 17 June 1986, lot 81)
Private collection, UK (purchased at the above sale)
The Departure of the Postal Steam Packet is both revealing of Vonalakis’ particular passion for the sea, ships and fishermen, and representative of the modern developments affecting nineteenth-century society, namely the dawn of the steam age. With dense black smoke billowing from the funnel and elegantly dressed passengers patiently waiting at the bow, the steamship makes ready to sail. On the docks, relatives and friends wave goodbye or enjoy a stroll in good company. The hoisted French flag and the white cliffs visible in the far background, suggest the coast of Calais. Steam services between France and England were frequent. In June 1820 the first paddle steam packet, Rob Roy, was introduced to the Dover-Calais passage and by 1833 the British Post office had introduced a daily service.
We are grateful to Professor Manolis Vlachos for his assistance in cataloguing this work.