A Ship’s Portrait

Judged to have “exemplary water”

An Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen painting valued at $25,000

Courtesy photo

I was just sent an image of an exciting painting. It is a great example by the maritime painter Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen (1850-1921).

Jacobsen was born in Denmark and emigrated to this country around 1871, settling first in New York City and later in Hoboken, NJ.

Born to a family of violin makers, Jacobsen was always artistically inclined and pursued some formal art study at the Royal Academy in Denmark. After coming to the United States, he worked for a company where he was hired to paint decorative motifs on safes. He enjoyed sketching ships and his talent became widely recognized. Soon he was commissioned by ship owners, captains and steamship companies to paint portraits of their ships.

Jacobsen is one of the iconic marine painters of his time. It is estimated that he painted 6,000 ship portraits. Often he was commissioned to paint the same ship multiple times. As lithographs became more popular, there was less demand for his work and he refused to have his pieces reproduced as prints. Later in his life and career, his children would assist him in completing paintings by handling painting in the sky and water.

Jacobsen’s work varies greatly in price, with some of his paintings breaking the $100,000 mark. Typically the most desirable examples are his early works, such as this painting is. It was painted in 1877 at his New York address.

This painting is of the ship Columbus and is believed to be one of three known examples that the artist completed. Another is in the collection of the Mariners Museum in Virginia.

We are presently exhibiting nearly 100 marine works in our art gallery at our shop in Milford. Included in this show are works by many of Jacobsen’s peers. The current show is a great way to see many maritime paintings and objects from the 18th century through today. As this Jacobsen appears to be in excellent overall condition, is an early work with exemplary water and is of a large size, I would estimate it at $25,000.

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