Norman Wilkinson (British, 1878-1971) The Cunard liner Lusitania speeding past the Fastnet lighthouse, probably outward bound for New York on her maiden voyage

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 51AR
Norman Wilkinson
(British, 1878-1971)
The Cunard liner Lusitania speeding past the Fastnet lighthouse, probably outward bound for New York on her maiden voyage

Sold for £ 57,500 (US$ 76,654) inc. premium
Norman Wilkinson (British, 1878-1971)
The Cunard liner Lusitania speeding past the Fastnet lighthouse, probably outward bound for New York on her maiden voyage
signed 'Norman Wilkinson' and dated 1907 (lower right)
oil on canvas
76.2 x 101.6cm (30 x 40in).

Footnotes

  • Had Lusitania survived the First World War, she and her equally celebrated sister Mauretania might well have become the most successful pair of liners ever to ply the North Atlantic passenger trade. Conceived as Cunard's response to the acquisition of the rival White Star Line by the American financier John Pierpont Morgan, the two ships were ordered in 1905 and Lusitania was completed first in August 1907. Built by John Brown at Clydebank and registered at 31,550 tons, she measured 787 feet in length with an 87½ foot beam, and was the largest vessel in the world when she entered service in September 1907. The first ocean liner to be powered by steam turbines, she captured the prestigious 'Blue Riband' from the German liner Kaiser Wilhelm II on her second crossing with an average speed of 23.99 knots and even though she soon surrendered this record to Mauretania, she nevertheless continued to turn in fast, regular passages in the years prior to the Great War and was a hugely popular ship with the travelling public.

    Clearing New York on 1st May 1915 with almost 2,000 persons aboard, Lusitania entered the Irish Sea on the 7th and was off the Old Head of Kinsale at 2.00pm. when, without warning, she was struck by a single torpedo from the German submarine U-20. Almost immediately this was followed by a second, much more violent explosion; in an instant the great ship lost way and began heeling over. Within eighteen minutes she had sunk with massive loss of life, including 134 American citizens, and her loss was undoubtedly a major factor in persuading the U.S.A. to enter the War on the side of the Allies. The riddle of her rapid sinking has remained controversial to this day and argument still rages as to whether she was or was not illegally carrying munitions in direct contravention of her rôle as a passenger ship. As a result of his diving operations, Dr. Robert Ballard has concluded that the actual cause was the explosion of methane gas in the empty coal bunkers, but whatever the truth of this claim, the sinking remains one of the greatest maritime tragedies ever.

    We are grateful to Michael Naxton for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.

Saleroom notices

  • Wilkinson has shown Lusitania with tall, white ventilators on her top deck; in fact, at the time of her launch (and the date of this painting), she was fitted with shorter, flat topped cowl type ventilators.
Contacts
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

A successful bidder at this sale will be required to pay Bonhams 1793 Limited ("Bonhams") a premium calculated as follows:

25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at 20% will be payable on the amount of the premium.

The premium is payable for the services to be provided by Bonhams in the Buyer's Agreement which is contained in the catalog for this Sale and for the opportunity to bid for the Lot at the Sale.

By bidding for a lot at the Sale, bidders agree to the terms set out in this Notice, which Notice accordingly varies the Buyer's agreement.

Expressions used in this Notice will have the meanings ascribed to them in the Glossary contained in the Catalog for this Sale.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
AR Artists Resale Right

Goods subject to Artists Resale Right Additional Premium.

App