Chromolithographs from American Yachts, Their Clubs and Races
Frederic Schiller Cozzens

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Details from different plates above. The bottom detail shows the title and publication information on the back of Plate 1. All plates are similarly labeled.

Frederic Schiller Cozzens (1846-1928) (after)
Armstrong & Co. (lithographers)
James Douglas Jerrold Kelley (text)
The Early Racers (Plate 1)
Sandy Hook to the Needles -- 1866 (Plate 2)
Robbins Reef -- Sunset (Plate 10)
Around the Cape -- Marblehead (Plate 11)
A Stern Chase and a Long One (Plate 16)
Minot's Ledge Light (Plate 19)
Signal Chart (Plate 26)

from American Yachts, Their Clubs and Races
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York: 1884
Chromolithographs
14.5 x 20.5 inches, chromolithograph image
22 x 28 inches overall, as mounted on card
$1,750 to $2,500 each

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Chromolithographs chronicling American yachts and yacht races between 1851 and 1884 based on watercolor paintings by the renowned maritime artist Frederic S. Cozzens. The portfolio of prints was originally accompanied by a book by U.S. Navy Lieutenant James Douglas Jerrold Kelley that described each plate and provided historical context; it may be read online (see References below). In his introduction to the book, Kelley describes how Cozzens took great pains to ensure the accuracy of his depictions of the yachts and the events he portrayed:

In these pictures of our pleasure fleet, the portrait of no boat has been printed until all possible means tending to accuracy have been exhausted. Whenever the originals could be found, within the year devoted to this art work, they were carefully painted, both under sail and at anchor; failing this, studies were made of verified photographs and plans, and, in many cases, the finished pictures were submitted to the owners of the boats represented; and when the criticisms were just -- for yachtsmen are not always the keenest critics of their own vessels -- these were accepted and the work revised until it received the imprimatur of those most nearly interested; finally, a number of the plates were exposed in yacht club-rooms, to the frank and solicited judgment of experienced yachtsmen, and the opinions expressed were carefully considered.

Frederic Schiller Cozzens was a prominent American maritime artist known for his watercolors of sailing ships, yachts and marine scenes.  Born in New York City, Cozzens graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, but was basically a self-taught artist.   He worked primarily in watercolor, pen and ink and gouache.  Many of his paintings were issued as fine chromolithograph prints. His first portfolio, American Yachts, Their Clubs and Races (1884) was a series of 27 chromolithographs accompanied by a book written by Lieutenant James Douglas Jerrold Kelley.  This publication proved so successful he went on to produce four more series on maritime themes, including Typical American Yachts (1886), also with text by Kelley. Cozzens contributed illustrations and yacht portraits to many magazines, most notably Harper's Weekly.  His works are in numerous collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the New-York Historical Society, the New York Yacht Club and the Museum of the City of New York.

Condition: Generally very good, the colors bright and fresh with only minor toning and wear.  Mounts very good, with some light toning, wear, soiling, and edge chipping (still better than usual). Original paper title labels verso. 

Full publication information: Charles Scribner’s Sons, Publishers, 743 and 745 Broadway, New York.

References:

Brewington, Dorothy E.R.& Dictionary of Marine Artists.  Mystic, Connecticut: Mystic Seaport Museum, 1982.  p. 96.

“Frederic Schiller Cozzens.” AskArt.com. http://www.askart.com/artist/C/frederic_schiller_cozzens.asp?ID=22043 (10 December 2004).

Kelley, James Douglas Jerrold and Frederic Schiller Cozzens. American Yachts: Their Clubs and Races.  New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1884.  Online at Google Books. http://books.google.com/books?id=MG3XnCstq1MC (3 February 2009).

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