A painting by Montague Dawson recently sold at auction may not depict an amateur sailing race on Lough Derg as claimed, according to one yachting historian.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the painting titled ‘Racing for the Corinthian Challenge Cup on Lough Derg’, by the renowned maritime artist, fetched more than €87,000 in the Marine Sale at Bonhams in London last Wednesday (1 May).
The auctioneers confess that “it has not yet been possible to identify the specific race and those yachts depicted”.
But that could be because the race never happened, an expert on Lough Derg has suggested.
In correspondence seen by Afloat.ie, Vincent Delany — a member of the Association of Yachting Historians, author of a definitive history of Lough Derg’s yacht clubs, and a regular contributor to Afloat.ie — identified a number of reasons why he believes the painting takes artistic licence with its title.
Among them are the sail numbers, when Lough Derg boats used house flags; the size of the boats depicted, when there were no six-metre yachts on the lough; and the background, which is “not reflective of the hills of Co Tipperary, or of Cos Clare or Galway or the eastern shorelines of Lough Derg”.
Delany also posits that the quality of the lighting in the painting is more suggestive of the south of England than the lakes of the Shannon.
Afloat.ie awaits Bonhams’ response to Delany’s questions.