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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

James Edward Buttersworth Painting Brings $398,500 At Bonhams New York Auction

A James Edward Buttersworth (1817-1894) painting entitled Flying Cloud on her record breaking voyage to San Francisco around Cape Horn in 89-days, April 20th 1854 nearly doubled its pre-sale low estimate to sell for $398,500 at Bonhams Important Maritime Paintings & Decorative Arts on January 25. A bidding war brewed in the crowded saleroom, and the momentum carried over to the subsequent Buttersworth lots, among them Yachts Returning from the Race Course which sold for $164,500, and Shipping off Sandy Hook which brought $100,900.

Bidders were also impressed with the excellent ship models on offer. An important American builder’s model of the S.S. Peru brought $50,000. However, it was the distinctive Napoleonic prisoner-of-war models from the collection of Daniel Davidson that most excited the saleroom, demonstrating the ability of important private collections to bring excellent results at auction. Highlights from this collection include a cased Napoleonic prisoner-of-war boxwood ship model of the 74-gun ship-of-the-line H.M.S. Warrior circa 1800, which surpassed its pre-sale high estimate to sell for $23,750, while a very fine and well detailed 20th century miniature ship model of a British 70-gun ship-of-the-line tripled its pre-sale low estimate to sell for $7,500.

With four sales a year between London and New York, Bonhams dominates the maritime arts market. “We are very pleased with the results today,” said Bonhams Maritime Specialist, Gregg Dietrich. “Bonhams continues to be the world leader in prisoner-of-war models and a primary source for great American maritime painters, such as Buttersworth, Jacobsen, and others.”

Bonhams next auction of maritime art will be the London April 24 Marine Sale at Bonhams Knightsbridge, followed by the June 5 auction in New York.

For more information or to view the full auction, please visit