Falmouth ferryman painting set to fetch £6k at auction
A 130-YEAR-OLD oil painting by a renowned Falmouth artist is expected to fetch up to £6,000 at an auction next month.
The Ferryman was painted by Charles Napier Hemy in 1882.
The 20-by-30-inch piece of art will go on sale Knightsbridge, London, in two weeks.
A spokesman for auctioneer Bonhams, said: “This oil painting was painted in Falmouth harbour and shows the old Bar Pool Mill, near where the National Maritime Museum is currently situated.
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“There are various depictions of this mill in the collection of Falmouth Art Gallery by different artists at various times in its history, mainly when it had become derelict by the late 19th Century.
“The ferryman depicted in the Hemy painting had probably rowed across the harbour from
Charles Hemy had just settled in Falmouth when he completed this work.
He moved to Falmouth from London in 1881 to marry Amy Freeman, the daughter of a local granite merchant, after the death of his first wife.
Mr Hemy stayed in Falmouth for the rest of his life, making his name for his maritime paintings which feature the Cornish coast and the fishing industry.
The late Brian Stewart, former director of Falmouth Art Gallery, wrote in the introduction to a book titled Master Of The Sea, Charles Napier Hemy RA, by Hemy’s grand-daughter, Margaret Powell: “Hemy was the most accomplished marine painter of his generation.
“His intimate knowledge of the sea was central to his art. The ocean’s swell, the power, strength and dangers are all captured with a brilliance rarely equalled and never surpassed.”
At the time of the 1891 Census, Hemy and his family – his wife Amy and seven children – were living at Churchfield House in Falmouth with their four servants.
The Ferryman, which is expected to sell for between £4,00 and £6,000, will go on sale alongside another Cornish painting in the Bonhams auction on October 2.
A 30-by-50-inch oil painting of fishermen unloading nets off the lookout station in Fowey is also expected to sell for between £4,000 and £6,000.
The picture, Fowey Fishermen, is by prolific London artist Henry King Taylor.
It used to hang in the dining room at The Haven, the Fowey home of writer Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, who was said to be the inspiration for Ratty in Kenneth Grahame’s classic, The Wind In The Willows.
At a previous Bonhams auction in 2010, a first edition copy of The Wind In The Willows – which Kenneth Grahame signed and presented to Quiller-Couch’s daughter – sold for £32,000.