The Schooner Charles Carroll On the Piscataqua from the North End of Noble’s Bridge, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1875
- Listed: January 1, 1970 12:00 am
- Title: The Schooner Charles Carroll On the Piscataqua from the North End of Noble's Bridge, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1875
- Artist: Thomas P. Moses
- Format (cm):
- Format (in): 41 1/2 x 54 in.
- Last Sale price: 365 000,00
- Last Sale date:
Thomas P. Moses (1808-1881) The Schooner Charles Carroll On the Piscataqua from the North End of Noble’s Bridge, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1875 inscribed, signed and dated On the Piscataqua from the north end of Noble’s Bridge/ Original. Thos. P. Moses/ Portsmouth, N.H./ The Fall of 1875. on reverse oil on canvas 41 1/2 x 54 in.
Childs Gallery, Boston, 1973 Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little, Brookline, Massachusetts Sold, Sotheby’s, New York, 29 January 1994, lot 115 William Gilmore, Durham, New Hampshire Sold, Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 21-22 August 2004, lot 874
PROPERTY OF A CONNECTICUT FAMILY
Nina Fletcher Little, Little by Little (New York, 1984), pp. 57 (illus.), 64 and cover. Robert M. Doty, By Good Hands: New Hampshire Folk Art (New Hampshire, 1989), p. 42, cat. no. VI. Richard M. Candee, The Artful Life of Thomas P. Moses (Portsmouth, 2002), pp. 28-29 and back cover. Richard M. Candee, “Thomas P. Moses: Artist, Musician & Poet of Portsmouth, New Hampshire,” Antiques & Fine Art Magazine (Spring 2002), p. 216, fig. 1.
Manchester, New Hampshire, The Currier Gallery of Art, By Good Hands: New Hampshire Folk Art , 23 June – 3 September 1989. Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Portsmouth Athenaeum, The Artful Life of Thomas P. Moses , 14 February – 15 June 2002.
“No one ever loved a home more ardently than did Mr. Moses his native city…and the noble Piscataqua. Especially did he delight in the river, and never wearied of extolling its beauties; he was a good boat-sailer, and…his favorite recreation was a trip up or down the river, and often far out to sea, with a good boat, a fresh breeze, and a select party of friends.” – New Hampshire Gazette , November 1881 As the sun rises off to the east above the cottages on Badger’s Island and the Kittery shore of Maine to the left, bathing the sky in soft pink hues, the three-masted schooner Charles Carroll out of Rockland, Maine, stands in the foreground on the Piscataqua, rendered in the artist’s favorite blue-green color. As the ship floats calmly, on her deck is a flurry of activity, with crew busily climbing the rigging as they prepare for departure. The delicate geometry created by the rigging of dozens of ships invites the viewer into the Portsmouth harbor. Painted in 1875, the Charles Carroll was the last work completed by the artist Thomas P. Moses (1808-1881) and is considered the masterpiece in his body of work that largely depicted his beloved Portsmouth and the maritime interests that built the city. In many ways, it depicts the sunset of the shipping industry that had built fortunes for many merchants and captains for over a century in Portsmouth, but would virtually disappear by the following century. Based on the inscription of the revese reading On the Piscataqua from north end of Noble’s Bridge/ Original. Thos. P. Moses/ Portsmouth, N.H./ The Fall of 1875 , it is possible to place the ship near the current New Hampshire State Pier with the wharves of Bow and Ceres Streets (fig. 1) beyond. Situated at the base of Spring Hill, the wharves were built in the late eighteenth century at the height of the region’s shipbuilding and maritime trade. First settled in the early 1620s, Portsmouth was surrounded by seemingly limitless forests of hardwoods such as maple, birch and black cherry, as well as eastern white pine, which produced superior masts and spars. By 1700, more than sixty sawmills had been established to process the lumber that would then travel to the wharves to be shipped up and down the East coast and exported abroad to the West Indies, southern Europe and Africa. The city was also blessed with one of the best natural harbors along the Atlantic coast, fed by the Piscataqua, a tidal river with a current so swift that the channel never froze, and with a nearby natural spring that provided fresh water for the anchored ships. As center of both manufacture and trade, Portsmouth soon developed a prosperous merchant class, supported by carpe