Property of a Lady
MONTAGUE DAWSON R.S.M.A., F.R.S.A.
1895 - 1973
PACIFIC COMBERS—THE 'COONATTO’ OF 633 TONS
signed MONTAGUE DAWSON (lower left); inscribed "Pacific Combers" "The Coonatto" Built in 1863 of 633 Tons (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
20⅛ by 30⅛ in.
51.1 by 76.5 cm
Not examined out of the frame. Lined. The work presents well and appears bright. Under UV: there are a few scattered pin dots and fine dashes of retouching in the sky. A 1 inch area of restoration is visible in the upper right portion of the sails at center. Some original pigments faintly fluoresce in the sky.
In response to your inquiry, 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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Frost & Reed, Ltd., London, no. 2076 (acquired directly from the artist, January 1945)
Sale: Christie's, New York, May 23, 1991, lot 217, illustrated (as The Pacific Combers on the Open Seas)
Built in London in 1863 as a trading vessel for the Orient Line, the clipper ship Coonatto was named after the storied Australian sheep trading station at Grant and Stokes, famous for its hospitality and orderly operation. Composite-built with an iron skeleton and timber siding, giving her increased interior storage space, she was designed for long-distance trips, carrying people and cargo to the far reaches of the globe. Such ships played a crucial role in the development of Adelaide, Australia, whose merchants used the compact vessels to outrun the large, lumbering crafts favored by the more established traders of Sydney and Melbourne. Coonatto could cover the distance from London to Adelaide in a mere 66 days, rapidly escalating the pace of trade and bolstering the influence and affluence of the city.