Impressive Watercolour by Frank Watson Wood of the Steam Yacht Winifred



Frank Watson Wood (1862-1953)

Steam Yacht Winifred in Portsmouth Harbour

Watercolour, signed and dated 1905
Overall size including frame: 72 x 104 cm (approx. 28 1/2 x 41 inches)


Steam Yacht Winifred
‘Winifred’ was designed and built by Cox & Co. in 1894 as ‘Lutra’ for Col. J.W. Malcolm CB from Greenock. She had an overall length of over 147 feet, weighed 186 tons and was fitted with a triple expansion steam engine by Cox & Co.

‘Lutra’ was sold in 1899 to E.N. Wroughton, and sold again in 1901 to Thomas Medley Lord of Millbrook, Southampton, who changed her name to ‘Winifred’ (presumably after his daughter Julia Winifred Lord) and who no doubt commissioned Frank Watson Wood to paint this fine watercolour in 1905. She was still owned by Mr Lord in 1915, but by 1918 was the property of Lt Cdr Graham-White of London, being eventually broken-up in 1932.

Thomas Medley Lord (1851-1919) was a son of Yorkshireman Samuel Lord (1803-1889) the millionaire founder of Lord & Taylor of New York, today the oldest luxury department store in the United States.

He lived at ‘Claremont’, Regent’s Park Road in Southampton, one of a group of large villas that were demolished in the 1970s. At the time this watercolour was painted in 1905 he was Commodore of the Royal Albert Yacht Club, Southsea, and also a member of Bembridge Sailing Club, The Castle Yacht Club, The Royal Dorset Y.C., The Hythe S.C., Royal Southern Y.C., Royal Southampton Y.C., Royal Thames Y.C., The Royal Torbay Y.C., and the Torbay S.C.

Frank Watson Wood
Born in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Frank Watson Wood studied at the Berwick School of Art and in 1886 went to the Newcastle School of Art as Second Master. From 1889 to 1899 he was Headmaster at the White School of Art and in 1900 moved to Portsmouth. It was here that he started to paint the navy, accepting commissions from naval officers for portraits of their ships and of naval exercises.

In 1918 he was invited with WL Wyllie and John Lavery aboard the Grand Fleet flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth to cover the surrender of the German high seas fleet at Scapa Flow, and in 1938 accompanied George VI and Queen Elizabeth on their Canadian tour as official artist.

In August 1906 Watson Wood sold King Edward VII a watercolour which still hangs in the Royal Yacht, and the Queen purchased five paintings from him over the following year including views of Cowes regatta week. Frank Watson Wood died in Strathyre, Perthshire in 1953


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