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Case Auctions
Live Auction

Summer Fine Art & Antiques Auction - Day 1

Sat, Jul 8, 2023 09:00AM EDT
Lot 127

Earl E. Collins O/C Marine Ship Painting, Lightning

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,200
Sold for

Bid Increments

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$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
Earl Edward Collins (Connecticut/New York, 1925-1992) oil on canvas maritime painting depicting the clipper ship "Lightning" sailing across tumultuous waters, an American flag flying from the stern, and figures standing on the sail. Signed and titled lower right. Housed in a grey wood frame with a linen mat. Sight: 19 3/4" H x 23 1/2" W. Framed: 26 1/4" H x 30 1/2" W. Note: Built by Donald McKay, the Lightning was the first clipper built in the United States for a British firm. In 1862, while returning to Liverpool, it struck an uncharted rock. No water entered the vessel but, on arrival at Liverpool, a rock 6 feet long was found sticking through its timbers and beginning to work loose. Under Capt. 'Bully' Forbes, the Lightning made its first voyage to Australia in 77 days, and on its return voyage made it in a record 64 days. It had the distinction of carrying, free of charge, early consignments of introduced animals, including rabbits, sent to Thomas Austin of Barwon Park, Winchelsea. The Lightning's entire life was spent on the Australian run carrying immigrants and cargo. The wreck of the Lightning caused by the fire was the worst shipping calamity in local history. A fire that had broken out was discovered at about 1 am. Water was pumped into lower hold in an attempt to douse it but the efforts of local volunteer fire brigades were unsuccessful. The blazing ship was towed away from the Yarra Street Wharf by James Deane's tug Resolute. Attempts to scuttle the vessel by boring holes and cutting the outside planking also failed. The Volunteer Artillery had also been unsuccessful in attempts to sink the vessel to put out the fire. The wreck was finally removed with explosives. The Lightning finally sank at about 6 pm., her location about 200 yards from Wharf in 25 feet of water in the town of Geelong, Australia. (adapted from Heritage Council Victoria, Victorian Heritage Database:


Overall very good condition.

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Bank: Pinnacle Bank
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