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Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A more fabulous print of the majestic presence of an ocean liner does not exist.

This is famed marine painter, Walter Thomas (1894-1971) at his best, in the inaugural poster to introduce Cunard's Canadian Service in 1921 with sister ships RMS Antonia, Andania, Aurania (III), and Ausonia.

Walter portrays Antonia off Quebec as she leaves port going back to Britain to get another load of immigrants for Canada.

Walter has chosen the perfect angle to show the towering might of a ship that inspires confidence. He compounds the effect by placing smaller tugs and boats, and tiny figures, in the foreground to give the eye comparison.

The viewer is lulled into thinking, surely something so huge could never sink... Which is why Cunard paid him handsomely for his paintings of their liners.

It would bring in passengers...


Cunard Line, Canadian Service - Walter Thomas, 1921
Orig. chromolithograph - Image Size - 50 x 69cm
Found - Barrie, On
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

For tens of thousands of immigrant families postcard reproductions would be all they could afford, as a reminder of the biggest adventure of their entire lives.

Like most postcards this is a photomechanical reproduction.

But for one family it is a priceless treasure...

The original log of the ocean voyage of the Goldi Family, on RMS Scythia, from Le Havre, France, from Dec. 8, 1950 to Dec. 15, 1950.

It was dark when the ship docked at Pier 21 (blue below.)

Instead of going ashore we all went to the ship's dining room for the Last Supper. 60 years later it is still hard to put into words the wild excitement of being caught up in the lights playing about the crazy melee of people crowding about on deck at night to gaze on the concrete splendour of Pier 21.

Where we all nuts or what? No, we were all caught up in a wild dream and that was CANADA. And Scythia had brought us here safe and sound...

To see what happened to a typical Canadian immigrant family after they docked at the historic (blue) Pier #21 at Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Go to The Scythia
Abstract Log of RMS Scythia Voyage, Dec. 8-15,1950
Orig. card - Size - 10 x 17 cm
Found - Prov - Family


A masterpiece by famed marine painter Kenneth Shoesmith
Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996-1999-2005

Spectacular, full-size art prints, of these ultra rare shipping posters are now available... Call

Don't be a dupe... use a loupe...

Original Prints - There are many ways to define "original" and "print" in the art world, many being pedantic or academic.

We mean original print in the sense of "unaltered antique original print" as understood by the average collector.

Original to Date - It has to be original in manufacture to the time period it - and not the dealer - claims to be from: the Leitch and McClellan from 1862; the Webber from 1784; the Fildes from 1905.)

Hand Crafted - Each actual print has to have been personally hand crafted by one or more artists from the same time period, involving either manual pressing, sketching, or painting of that very piece of paper.

Unaltered - Later copies, or later painting, which alters the state of the "original print" regardless of how well it is done, do not qualify any more as true "original prints."

The Eyes have it... Left the flag from the Aquitania chromolithograph hugely magnified, shows no uniform pattern, or grid of rows of dots, like those that entirely cover the crowsnest from the ship's photomechanically reproduced photo postcard right. That's why images made as chromolithographs are considered original prints - and valuable - and the postcard copy, a reproduction or repro - and cheap.

Think about it... In the original print of the Aquitania you are seeing the actual ink of the print itself magnified - the real print, directly, personally, pressed on by an artist.

Repro you dupe... In the postcard , you are seeing only a photographic mechanical reproduction of the photo below, not the real photo emulsion itself. Recopying the original surface mechanically - either the photo emulsion, or an original painting or print - with a camera and then creating a copy with a machine printer, creates and superimposes the grid of dots on the image.

The loupe tells the tale. This is an unhybridized chromolithograph, showing only the irregular stippling only possible from a lithostone pressing.

Below the sky patch at the top middle of the print - where the lithographer would have held the print - appear to be finger prints.

Below the bow wave, and a huge blow up of the flag buried in the smoke from the funnel of the passing ship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




This fabulous chromolithograph shows no ill effects from being badly treated for the past 100 years that it has sat in this frame. The glass is wavy and the cardboard backing could tell a story if it could talk.

The paper backing that once covered the entire back of the print has rotted away decades ago. The cardboard has shrunk and the nails have gouged holes from being shaken during the countless trips this print has taken in its life. After all, few human beings are as old as this print.

Luckily the print is mounted on a stiff backing so the acidic staining that has damaged so many antique prints is entirely absent here.

To protect them from further deterioration you should take prints like this apart, clean the glass - water and newspaper - and the print, front and back.

We use fresh white bread - the only possible use for this unnourishing foodstuff. We press the soft centre into all areas of the print, frequently changing slices to preserve the stickiness to absorb dust and crud particles. Then we wipe it all with a new swiffer. We provide a new acid free foam core.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous original print of the famed Cunard passenger liner RMS Aquitania who started and ended her life plying Canadian waters.

Called the most successful liner ever she held the record for years in service - 36, from 1914 to 1950 - only surpassed by the QE2 - also a Cunarder - with 40.

She started service early in 1914, just months before World War I began, as one of Cunard's trio of huge four-funnel liners (plus Mauretania and Lusitania) to challenge the White Star Line's Olympic, whose sister ship Titanic had sunk in 1912.

Instead, she was pressed into serving as a troop ship. She brought troops to the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign.

With the return of peace she became a trans Atlantic liner. ferrying movie stars, the rich, and immigrants between Europe and America.

In World War II, she again became a troopship and miraculously escaped, again, the attention of submariners who claimed so many other passenger liners.

After the war she resumed her Canadian service, under charter to the Canadian government, bringing thousands of immigrants, war brides and their children, to Canada. It was her final assignment. She was broken up in 1950.


RMS Aquitania, Cunard Line - c 1914
Orig. chromolithograph - Image Size - 71 cm x 1.01 m
Found - Ottawa, ON

A Transitional Chromolithograph

By examining it with a loupe we discovered that, like the Empress of Australia, this magnificent print was also a hybrid, part photomechanical reproduction, part hand printed chromolithograph.

In fact the entire sky above the horizon and roof lines lacks the dots that the rest of the print has. It is printed with chromolithographic colour.

Below the sky shows no dots.

Right the roof of the Chateau, with its grid of uniform dots, clearly shows the difference, with the sky, which shows the random patterning typical of that found on chromolithographs, colour images printed from litho stones.

Clearly Rummell felt that having the sky overprinted, like the traditional chromolithographs of the time, would give the print more power. He was right. It is a stunning original print.

The flag staffs and flags, above the roof line of the Chateau, are also chromolithographs. The telltale stippling so common on prints made from lithographic stones are clearly visible when looked at with a loupe.


Did you know that the man left who had the Chateau Laurier built, and commissioned the original painting for this print, went down with the Titanic in 1912, along with all the original dining room furniture that he was bringing from Europe to furnish the grand railway hotel?

Go to Charles Hays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure Chateau Laurier 1911: Without a doubt this is the most spectacular chromolithograph ever produced in Canada, and the largest. It is the Grand Trunk Railway print of the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa - Canada's Capital City - in Ontario.

The original was painted by American painter Richard Rummell in 1911. Rummell had made a reputation for his "Bird's Eye View" landscapes of towns and universities in the US. In the days before airplanes made these kinds of views more common, Rummell stunned his viewers by transporting himself mentally to heights above the rooftops, to give views of places that only military balloonists had ever seen before.

This lithograph is a stunning discovery for a number of reasons. It is so huge that only the finest homes would have space to hang it. Its frame is a giant 44" h x 57" w; the image alone, is an amazing 28 x 42 inches.

It may well be that this very print was once displayed over the main counter of the railway station in Ottawa, seen far right in the print.

To find it in its original oak frame inscribed Grand Trunk System is an unbelievably fortunate discovery, and a superb Great Canadian Heritage Moment.

You will never see another.


Chateau Laurier, Grand Trunk System, 1911 - Richard Rummell
Orig. chromolithograph - Size - oa 44" x 57", image 28" x 42"
Found - Milton, ON
Orig. glass and frame inscribed Grand Trunk System

A Rare Original Print

99% of colour prints - including all the art prints - in the last 100 years have been photomechanically reproduced, because it is not economical to do any other way. The first were produced late in the 19th century and typically show a grid of dots when looked at with a loupe.

We have discovered a rare print that American museum experts told us they have not been aware of before - a hybrid, part chromolithograph, part photomechanical reproduction.

We discovered it by using a loupe on various parts of the print and discovered that the grid of dots was interrupted in various places by dotless patches of colour. It appears that the original photomechanically reproduced image was then pressed by a craftsman on to a litho stone to take up additional colours and give the image an additional depth and variety of colour it did not have.

Below the ships main mast and the hull of the vessel seem to be among the main areas treated by the partial chromolithograph treatment.

Some of the waves also received patches of colour that has overlaid the pattern of dots that lie underneath.

It stands to reason that this transitional print would have been attempted to blend the benefits of both old and new technologies.But in the end this extra hand treatment was abandoned too, in deference to economics.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A huge and fabulous ocean liner print with original frame, name plaque, and glass, of Canadian Pacific Line's famed Empress of Australia.

One of the many post-World War I Canadian liners put into service after four years of terrible war, she was on the Vancouver - Yokohama Pacific run (1922-1926) before being switched to the Quebec-Southampton Atlantic service (1926-1939). She ended her days as a troop ship during and after World War II, before being scrapped in 1952.

She is shown in her original colours of black hull, white tops, and buff funnels and masts, as she was during the Yokohama service.

During the Quebec years her hull was repainted white

She was a superb ambassador for Canada as a nation of humanitarian peace-keepers in an era that saw many huge passenger ships proudly carrying Canadian flags into ports around the world. But those storied Great Canadian passenger ships are all gone now.

In a sad departure from a noble tradition, today only Canadian war ships enter foreign ports, and everyone knows they are on the way to bring over 20 billion dollars of guns, ammunition, and war materiel to help kill Muslim men, women, and children in Afghanistan.


Empress of Australia, Canadian Pacific Line - Leonard Richmond, 1922

Orig. chromolithograph - Image Size - 61 x 71 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON

A masterpiece by famed marine painter Leonard Richmond

Halifax, Nova Scotia - The Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow

For well over a century the Cunard ships dropped off hundreds of thousands of hopeful immigrants here in Halifax, about a million alone, at the blue Pier #21. Thousands of unhappy war brides and many abused-to-be British children also stepped off on the pier during World War II.

Two fabulous antique ocean liner pictures... Guess which one is far more valuable... and why?

Cunard RMS Antonia 1922

Cunard RMS Scythia 1922

A Close up to die for...

Proof positive that this is an original print, a one-of-a-kind chromolithograph that was individually hand-inked on to a litho stone and printed by a skilled craftsman and is not a photomechanical repro.

A jeweler's loupe tells the tale, showing an extreme close up of how both images are constructed.

Below where the bow of the Antonia meets the water. Even with this huge magnification - the size of a pinhead on the picture above - there is only the evidence of panels of paint and pitting from the stone surface as the paper was pressed on to the various litho stones carrying the colour impressions that made up the image.

A Chromolithograph - An Original Print - A talented craftsman actually hand printed this picture. So the colours and hue intensities vary from print to print. Because it is a hand-made original print, with all the colour qualities possible by the chromolithograph process, there are few around. All of which go to make it valuable.

There are only the coloured dots and graving tool strokes from the litho stone here, no superimposed, uniform grid pattern that belie a photomechanically reproduced print. The number of colours used and the gradations of hue are almost infinite.

At 29 x 39 inches worth having for display.

This image has recently been reproduced by the photomechanical process used to make the postcard right. The value of a same size reproduction print drops in value.

Nice, but...

The same magnification on this picture - of the masts on the sailing ship at the rear of the liner - shows the tell tale uniform grid pattern that tells you this image was cheaply reproduced by a photomechanical process that put the colour on the paper with a fast press with the help of half tone screens to apply magenta, cyan, red, and black.

Only a mix of three colours and black are used in this process by which 99% of modern colour pictures have been reproduced in the last 100 years.





A Photomechanical Reproduction - A Repro(duction) - No craftsman was anywhere in the county when these postcards were run off by the gazillions on an automatic photomechanical printer.

The colour intensity, and variety are just no match for a chromolithograph. But it's just too expensive to hand-make these prints today. (Robert Bateman "prints" are photomechanical reproductions.)

Nice... 90 years old, but not hand produced and one of thousands...

Still it is a treasured memento of a part of Canada's history.

It was sold aboard ship during the voyage. So it heard the throb of the engines, and the excited chatter of immigrants as they abandon their old homeland and prepare for a new life somewhere in Canada.

A postcard view worth some $4...

Shipping Prints (Chromolithographs 2) - Originals & Repros 16

1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

Le Havre - One of the great harbours of the world, where millions of immigrants last touched the soil of Europe, for the last time, before going off to begin new lives in North America.

Thousands of others who last touched shore here, would find a premature death at sea...

1 - The Quai d'Escale where we boarded Scythia and where my parents touched the soil of Europe for the last time.

Exactly the same spot, where, with great pomp and ceremony, the body of the American Unknown Soldier of World War I was loaded aboard USS Olympia in 1921 below.

2 - Where I saw Liberté sweep out the harbour.

3 - The wharf along which Normandie, and countless other great liners, like Ile de France, France and Paris, also docked as shown below.

4 - Where the River Seine empties into the English Channel.

5 - The direction to New York and Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Left
the Goldi kids, just weeks before they stepped off the Quai d'Escale and boarded Scythia below dressed in these very clothes...

Go to what happened to them all...

The ship left the dock at 3:45 pm on Dec. 8, 1950. Next stop Halifax, Canada... And a new life, that our father no longer trusted Europe to give his family...

Above completing the fastest crossing to a welcome by thousands of enthralled sightseers in New York in July 1929.

Bremen exhibits modern sleek lines, and fabulous proportions, not the clunky and dated look of the Cunard and Canadian Pacific liners.

The Bremen and Europa signaled a resurgent Germany after the horrific defeat of World War I. The country and population had been further devastated by the revolution and starvation of the depression that followed having been sacked by the Allies of anything worth moving or sailing out of Germany as reparations for "causing" the war.

When the NAZIs came to power in 1933 they used the fabulous ocean liners to carry their flag to ports around the world. This print dates from that period.

In New York, in 1935, before one voyage, a group of protesters stormed the ship and ripped the NAZI flag from the staff and tossed it into the Hudson River.

In retaliation Hitler immediately declared the NAZI banner to be the exclusive national flag of Germany, a status which it had formerly only shared with Germany's earlier Weimar Republic flag.

Don't be a dupe... use a loupe...

The Eyes have it... Left the flag from the Aquitania chromolithograph hugely magnified, shows no uniform pattern, or grid of rows of dots, like those that entirely cover the flag from the Bremen photomechanically reproduced image right. That's why images made as chromolithographs are considered original prints - and much more valuable.

Think about it... In the original print of the Aquitania you are seeing the actual ink of the print itself magnified - the real print, directly, personally, pressed on by an artist.

Repro you dupe... In the Nazi flag, you are seeing only a photographic mechanical reproduction of the Bremen picture, not the real photo emulsion itself. Recopying the original surface mechanically - either the photo emulsion, or an original painting or print - with a camera and then creating a copy with a machine printer, creates and superimposes the grid of dots on the image.


This shipping print is part of the new wave of entirely photomechanically reproduced colour pictures. In the 20th century virtually all colour pictures were printed and produced this way. It was just not economical to do the hand printing demanded by woodcuts, engravings, and chromolithography.

Still, this is a rare and valuable memento of a ship and an age that is long gone.

It is unknown if the Bremen ever touched base in Halifax, Nova Scotia, or sailed in Canadian waters.

But many Canadian immigrants sailed in her to New York and then took the train to Canadian destinations.

These smaller prints were produced to be affordable to passengers, instead of for hanging in railway or shipping offices.

We have seen several of these at Canadian auctions, so the Bremen resonated with Canadian immigrants.

You can see the entire surface of the print is actually covered with this screen of dots.

Below the ship's horn on the front funnel.

But since pictures are not designed to be looked at with a loupe, but with the naked eye, and from a small distance away, the eye is tricked into believing it is seeing a tack sharp image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



William James Aylward

The officials at Norddeutscher Lloyd were taking no chances, and hired one of the most eminent marine artists of the age, American William James Aylward.

He depicts Bremen sweeping in off the ocean to approach Fire Island, which is one of the barrier islands off Long Island and the approaches to New York.

Bill Aylward was born in Milwaukee, studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Student's League in New York City.

He studied with Howard Pyle. Aylward also taught at the Newark (NJ) School while illustrating for magazines such as Scribner's, Harper's, and Collier's.

At the age of 43, he volunteered to go to France with the American Expeditionary Force and record their actions in World War I. He was one of America's most skillful handlers of watercolors.

Sadly, in 1941 and during World War II, while tied up at a German dock, Bremen was torched by a disgruntled worker, angry at the owners. She burned and was broken up after the war.


Her sister ship Europa was taken by France as reparations for World War II, and renamed Liberté right.

She was a replacement for the top French liner the Normandie below which was accidentally burned and sunk in New York harbour during a refit in 1942. Normandie was scrapped in 1946.

The Normandie, widely considered the finest ocean liner ever built, had taken the Blue Ribband from Europa's sister ship the Bremen in 1935.

The history of the three great ships is inextricably intertwined.

 

I was in Le Havre harbour (France), as a nine-year-old, in December 1950, and remember gazing in awe when my father pointed out the Liberté (twin funnels above and below) as the great liner, horn blaring, swept out of the harbour, bound for New York. (Below Liberté at the very Le Havre dock from which I had watched her depart a few years earlier.)

My father, who was a Francophile, had an oil painting of the Normandie above hanging over his marital bed in the 1940s.

No one born after 1950 can possibly understand the enormous mystique that enthralled and overwhelmed those of us who embarked on great ocean passages during the Age of the Great Ocean Liners from 1860 -1960.

Before airplane travel and television made the world small, an ocean passage was mentally like a trip to the moon. It was stunning to conceive that you would be out of sight of land for many days, and with the certain knowledge that you were embarking on a voyage from which you would never return, that you were leaving family behind that you would never see again. It was a solemn reality we all had to come to terms with, as late as 1950. It was not lost on this nine-year old, who can well recall the solemn scene as his father bade his parents, what we all knew, was a final farewell...

And you brooded about these things as you looked up at the towering wall of steel that loomed over you at dockside. Your safekeeping would be entrusted to its embracing arms.

And how could others ever understand the indescribable high, as you looked up from a lower deck at night, at the towering waves, as the liner fell into a huge trough and pounded forward into rough seas, a thousand miles from either shore.

Covered in salt spray you knew, in fact, that there were untold thousands who never did survive the Atlantic crossing


Below RMS Scythia on which we made the Atlantic crossing in December 1950, just hours after watching Liberté leave this dock.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Cunard White Star Liner RMS Scythia, Aug. 1930
Orig. photo - Size - 9 x 14 cm
Found - Liverpool, UK

Go to RMS Scythia

Two days later, in the dark of night, we watched Scythia plunge into mountainous seas, on this side of the ship, from the open lattice work, clearly visible on the dark hull, below the rail, at the rear.

Go to the Wreck of the Atlantic

So we were often below the top of the waves as they swept by.

Mesmerized, we watched the battle between ship and waves, for a while, then went topsides and threw up...


Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous shipping "print" from a by-gone era featuring one of the finest passenger liners of the 1930s, the SS Bremen of Germany's Norddeutscher Lloyd Line.

Launched in 1929 with her sister ship Europa, they started the stampede to the super liners of the 1930s.

On her maiden voyage, in July 1929, Bremen accomplished a first, becoming the only liner to win back to back Blue Ribbands for fastest passage west, and return passage east, across the Atlantic.

She captured both titles from Cunard's Mauretania who had held the Blue Ribband speed crown for 20 years.

Europa and Bremen were the fastest ships in the world from 1929 -1933, both winning multiple Blue Ribbands in the 1930s.


SS Bremen - Norddeutscher Lloyd Line - c 1933
Orig. picture - Image Size - 43 x 66 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






This fabulous impressionist work of art was commissioned by Cunard from Canadian master painter Lorne Holland Bouchard 1913-1978.

Right his fabulous oil on canvas board painting of people leaving the church after mass at St. Paul de Chester in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, though only 30 x 40 cm, sold at a Canadian auction in November 2009, for $9,900 triple its pre-sale estimate.

No one has painted a finer work of a Quebec village than this.

 

 

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous print of Cunard's Franconia one of the many ships the line built after World War I, to service the immigrant trade between the UK and Canada. She resembled Scythia but was designed more as a cruise ship.

Franconia is shown arriving in Quebec, below the landmark Chateau Frontenac. For many years she was on the Liverpool to Quebec run.

The picture probably dating from the late 1940s is still in its original Cunard Line frame but it is no longer a chromolithograph like earlier shipping prints.

Under a magnifying glass the bow shows the dots associated with photomechanical printing which is used to make most modern colour reproductions.


RMS Franconia, Cunard Line - Lorne Holland Bouchard
Orig. print - Image Size - 65 x 95 cm
Found - Burlington, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous memento of a great period in history, the personal memento of a Canadian who arrived in Halifax aboard the RMS Aquitania in 1919, proving that, right at the beginning of her career as a liner, she plied Canadian waters.

The Canadian route would also be her last.

But a postcard is a photomechanical reproduction, not a rare chromolithograph. It was printed from a feeder tray, not like the print above, by the personal handling of a craftsman.

Below World War I has only been over for six weeks but Aquitania is bringing a traveller to Halifax who is heading west but cannot stop to see Miss Coyle in Montreal.

Settlers are flooding into western Canada to fill up the prairies, now that the former occupiers - the buffalo and the Indians - had been cleared off...


Postcard, RMS Aquitania - 1919
Orig. pc - Image Size - 9 x 14 cm
Found - Burlington, ON