You never know what can happen on one my bike rides. Today, for example, I went out ostensibly just to make a bank deposit. I returned from my ride with a 164-year old piece of our family history – a painting/carving of the First America’s Cup in history, then called the Queen’s Cup.
This remarkable antique found its way somehow from a Massachusetts salvage company, its last previous abode, to a North Scottsdale shop that I often visit to look for rare collectables. The reason it is both a painting and a carving is that the sailboat is actually a painted carving glued onto the wooden board. Which was used as the “canvas” for the background painting. Kind of the way the ancient Russian icons are painted on wood.
Truth be told, I could not very well ride home with this heavy wooden board on my bike. So Elizabeth and I returned by car a couple of hours later to get it. And now it is at our home in Scottsdale.
Albert and Victoria Reunited Once Again – the Third Time
The reason it struck a chord with me instantly is that both Elizabeth and I were there. She – as Queen Victoria, me – as her husband, Prince Albert.
Except that the date was actually Aug 23, 1851, not 1852, as the unknown 19th century painter scribbled in the title this painting. Which makes it even more interesting. An honest mistake. Another hint of authenticity.
The race took place off the Isle of Wight (map), where Victoria and Albert had their summer residence – the Osborne House. You can read more about it if you click here – the America’s Cup History website.
How do I know all this?
Well, nearly two years ago, Elizabeth and I went on a sailing trip on America II, a contender in the 1985 America’s Cup races in Australia. And that’s when it dawned on me why we were guided to do so (see Albert and Victoria Reunited at Sea on America II, July 20, 2013). The ship was scuttled two weeks later.
That’s basically how my original revelation about these two past lifetime also came to me in Oct 2011 in London, while standing between the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial (see Albert and Victoria Reunited, Oct 25, 2011).
Anyway, this painting now graces a wall in my Eagle’s Nest, Scottsdale, office, kitty corner from the painting of El Escorial which we brought from Spain a year ago (right).
And I am afraid somebody really screwed up when they valued this antique. The price tag was shamefully low. But “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” We lucked out today. I bought the painting for a song.
Probably for a very good reason. For, the painting depicts a part of our history. So it is back home now once again.