Pilot Boat New York
by Antonio Jacobsen
Oil on canvas

This painting of the New York Pilot Boat New York is signed and dated “A. Jacobsen, 1903.” Additionally he listed his address below his signature, a form of advertising common to his paintings.  According to The Checklist, Jacobsen created at least 35 paintings and sketches of this long serving pilot boat (1897 to 1952).  See the painting of the SS Dunkeld for Jacobsen's full bio. 

Most often Jacobsen portrays the Pilot Boat New York in profile, with another vessel shown incidentally off her bow. Some of the paintings of New York are depicted in starboard profile, as in this case, breaking with his usual port profile format. What appears to be a passenger liner of the French Line is depicted off her bow.

New York is shown flying a large, square, blue flag. Although it does not display white stars, it likely is meant to be an American Union Jack.  American pilot boats displayed the Union Jack to indicate there were pilots available for hire. Likewise, American vessels use the Union Jack to indicate the desire for a pilot to guide the vessel into harbor.  Other Jacobsen paintings in this collection include the Dunkeld, Katie and Havana.


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