The publisher’s prospectus described the series as:
…accurate and spirited portraits of more than sixty of the famous yachts, English and American…that have contested the supremacy of American waters during the past forty years. Far surpassing the mechanical outlining of the photograph and the weak monotony of ordinary broadside views, they present variety of action and surroundings with most realistic effects of color in water, sky and landscape.
A Misty Morning — Drifting: Utowana, Nokomis, Crusader, Hildegard (Plate F)
This print depicts the becalmed sailboats Nokomis, Crusader and Hildegard, while the Utowana moves past them despite the lack of wind because it has a steam engine. The accompanying text discusses the evolution of steam-powered sailing yachts, explaining that despite the development of steam technology a century earlier, only within the last decade had it been largely adopted for yachting.
Lying-To Off George’s Banks: Norseman, Atalanta (Plate G)
The print depicts the two yachts, Norseman and Atalanta, lying-to off the shoals of George’s Banks, a sand ridge 100 miles from Cape Cod, dangerous, according to Kelley’s text, for its shifting sands and unpredictable shallows. Kelley’s essay also discusses different types of large yachts shown and their design.
In Down East Waters — Boston Bay: Syren, Beetle, Countess, Halcyon, Phantom, Adelita, Sappho
The print depicts several yachts sailing in Boston Bay. It apparently does not document an actual event, but is a composition designed to feature prominent boats from Boston yacht clubs, notably the Halcyon, whose billowing sail dominates the foreground. Note: This print lacks cover and text pages.
A Stern Chase and a Long One — 1876: Countess of Dufferin, America, Grant, Madeleine (Plate I)
The print depicts the America’s Cup race of 1876, which was won by the Madeleine, affiliated with the New York Yacht Club. The accompanying text describes that race as well as the 1871 Cup race and provides some background information about the participating yachts.
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, 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 labels verso. Three have the original blue back covers and text (with various wear, soiling, and edge chips, but generally very good or better).
Full publication information: Charles Scribner’s Sons, Publishers, 743 and 745 Broadway, New York.
Brewington, Dorothy E.R. Dictionary of Marine Artists. Mystic, Connecticut: MysticSeaportMuseum, 1982. p. 96.
Kelley, James Douglas Jerrold and Frederic Schiller Cozzens. American Yachts: Their Clubs and Races. New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1884. pp. 366-68 and pl. 22. Online at Google Books. http://books.google.com/books?id=MG3XnCstq1MC (3 February 2009).
“Frederic Schiller Cozzens.” AskArt.com. http://www.askart.com/artist/C/frederic_schiller_cozzens.asp?ID=22043 (10 December 2004).