Montague Dawson: Gliding Along, The Deb, circa 1949 This is a framed oil painting on canvas and shows the first 5.5 metre day boat built by George Nicholson sailing past Newtown Creek in the Solent. The softwood decks are probably covered in canvas, and then been painted eggshell turquoise. Signed in the left corner and inscribed on the reverse of the frame in pencil “The new 5.5 metre yacht, by Nicholsons, Copyright reserved by Artist” and with a paper label for The Cooling Galleries 92, New Bond Street London, Association Member, 5 Temperance St. Toronto. English, circa 1949.
Provenance: Private Collection Portland, Maine
Published: L.G.G. Ramsey, F.S.A., Montague Dawson, R.S.M.A.,F.R.S.A., Leigh on Sea, England, 1970 edition, Catalogue No. 80, illus. p.23.
Charles Nicholson (1868-1954) was a yacht designer and a member of the famous Camper & Nicholson family. He initiated a new 5.5 class in 1949 and presented the Prototype 5.5 K-1 The Deb (debutante). By 1950 the IYRU had acknowledged the International status of the Class and 5.5 Metres participated in the Olympic Sailing regattas from 1952 until 1968. Another prominent sailing family involved with the 5.5 Metre Class were the Aishers. Owen was president and Robin secretary for numerous years. Both families united when Charles Nicholson’s son, George competed, with Robin at the helm, in the 1960 Olympics. Robin subsequently won the Bronze Medal in 1968.