1904 Solon Badger Oil Painting
This painting was my great-grandfather's. And this is actually his ship. He's Marcus L. Urann, it's on the flag. And he passed it down through the family, and actually, Marcus L. Urann is the founder of Ocean Spray Cranberries. I know he was a lawyer, and kind of a prominent man, so I do know that it moved cargo sometimes. It was en route from Naples to the Northeast and it hit a storm and it was destroyed.
I did find that 1917 New York Times article. The ship was a cargo ship, a schooner, and it was carrying lumber actually, from, I guess, Naples, Florida, to New York, and it hit a series of storms and most of the crew was lost at sea. The New York Times article said three people survived and gave a detailed account. It's a fascinating ship and it's a fascinating artist. The artist is Solon Badger. He was born and raised in Massachusetts. He was born in 1873, died in 1919. And most of his paintings were ship portraits. And this painting is inscribed on the reverse, "Charlestown, Mass", which is where he had his studio. And what's really fascinating about this painting and sets this painting apart from many of the paintings that Badger painted is that it is a five-master, each with flags. The minute you have an American flag in a painting, whether it's a ship or a city scene, they become more desirable. The painting is oil on canvas and the rigging is generally done in pencil. What's interesting about this painting is the condition. Untouched, obviously it has some small dings, but I'd rather see it in original condition like this than restored.
Because the pigments that the artist used in the sails and in the rigging are so soft, that if it were cleaned, all of that could have been cleaned right off.
This is catnip in the trade.
It creates an energy when you have a painting that is in untouched condition like this, and has a perfect provenance. The market for Badger's work has been a little erratic in the past couple of years in this recessionary period. In 2008, there was auction sale where another five-master came up for sale and made about $25,000. That's the auction market. I would insure this for closer to $35,000.
Oh, my goodness!
I don't think I realized how special it was until now.
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