Yacht on Naples Bay
Oil on canvas
Although unsigned, the background of the smoking Mount Vesuvius volcano confirms that this painting was likely done by an Italian Pierhead painter. The yacht is shown sailing in the Bay of Naples. The crew are in uniforms typical of the period for yacht crews. The Blue British Ensign is that of a yacht club, defaced with a yacht club emblem. The flag or burgee of the yacht club is depicted at the top of the mainmast. Although unclear, a review of Lloyd's Register of Yachts for 1902, reveals that these two flags appear to be from the Royal Mersey Yacht Club. Even if they are, we still cannot identify the yacht by name. The emblems on the two flags appear to be the same. The white portion may be a bird with wings spread. The painting is estimated to have been done in the last quarter of the 19th century, and probably not later than the first quarter of the 20th century.
The Steamship Historical Society of America is dedicated to the history and preservation of powered vessels; however, it is the first to acknowledge that sailing vessels are the ancestors of powered vessels and therefore, sailing vessels are important to the history of the powered vessel. For this reason it is appropriate for paintings of sailing ships to be depicted in this Museum.