Auctioneers and Appraisers

Percy Sanborn (American, 1849-1929)

Sold for:





Sale #2230 - 2230
Date / Time :
February 22, 2004 11:00AM


Percy Sanborn (American, 1849-1929) Portrait of the Clipper Ship Great Republic. Signed "Percy Sanborn" l.r. Ship identified on bow, hull, and inscriptions below: "Ship Great Republic; Joseph Limeburner, Master. Donald McKay, Builder, S. Boston, 1853. As rebuilt after fire of Dec. 26, 1853." Oil on canvas, depicting the four-masted barque flying an American flag, sailing in choppy, coastal waters, 26 x 40 in., framed. Condition: Retouch to areas in background.

Note: Percy Sanborn was a multifaceted artist. He began his career as a sign painter and painted many signs and window shades for establishments in Belfast, Maine. He moved on to painting theatrical backdrops, stoneware pots, and murals. One of his murals is on display at the Ritz Carlton in Boston. Sanborn was also an accomplished violinist. He performed and conducted with the Belfast Symphonic Orchestra and he also gave lessons to local children. Sanborn is well known for his ship portraits, which are represented in nearly every major maritime museum in the United States. The Great Republic, built by Donald Mckay, was almost three times the size of any ship afloat at the time it was built. It was launched, October 4, 1853. Unfortunately, in December, before it was to make its maiden voyage out of New York, a fire broke out in a dockside bakery and sparks ignited the rigging of the Great Republic and soon spread to the upper deck and cargo below. The ship was salvaged, resurrected, and sold to A. A. Low & Brother, and finally sailed out of New York in 1855. Some printed internet articles regarding the statistics and history of the ship accompany the lot.
Estimate $15,000-20,000


Percy Sanborn, Donald McKay, Joseph Limeburner, multifaceted artist , sign painter , Maine, Belfast, accomplished violinist , Belfast Symphonic Orchestra, United States, internet articles, Clippers, McKay