An unusual pencil drawing of “Canton“ a three masted whaling ship by Harold Wyllie. New Bedford was a major whaling centre in the 19th century. Photographic records of the Canton held by New Bedford Free Public Library show both how accurate Wyllie’s draughtsmanship was and also what would have appealed to him about the subject. The Canton, built in 1847, was the oldest sailing ship afloat in 1909 when Wyllie chose it as his subject. Sadly it was wrecked later that year. The ship’s captain for much of this period was George Lyman Howland who served with great distinction until his retirement in 1893. Howland’s son, Chester Scott Howland, became a very famous writer of whaling stories and his widow Mrs Dorothy Howland was the founder of Whaling Masters Inc, a society dedicated to preserving whaling history in America.
Over all size 16”x17”
Harold Wyllie was the eldest son of William Lionel Wyllie. He studied under his father and shared his fascination with naval history. Harold Wyllie was particularly interested in the development of the sailing ship and devoted himself to in-depth research eventually becoming a recognised expert on the subject. His works were exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of Marine Artists, and he served as Honorable Marine Painter to the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1934 as well as Vice President of the Society of Marine Artists in 1958. His dedication to naval history resonates in his sensitivity to detail and accuracy in his maritime paintings.