Thomas Dutton after N. M. Condy
The Leda Yacht R.W.Y.C.
19 x 15 inches
A hand coloured lithograph by Thomas Dutton after the painting by Nicholas Condy; published in London by Fores in 1860.
Thomas Dutton dominated the market for yachting prints in the middle of the C19th and rightly so; his services as an accomplished lithographer brought him much business and great acclaim. Here we see The Leda Yacht, which was registered at The Royal Western Yacht Club in Plymouth, sailing off the southern English coast.
The print is dedicated to the owner, William Russell, who appears to be sailing far from home. The Russell family made their money through banking and mining in the north of England and owned Brancepeth Castle in County Durham so they were clearly wealthy enough to own and crew a yacht of this size.
Plymouth has long been associated with Britain's naval history and was a vital port during all the naval engagements of the C18th and early C19th. In 1827 a new dimension was added to its maritime history when The Port of Plymouth Royal Clarence Yacht Club was founded. Clearly this was quite a mouth full and it was renamed The RWYC in 1833. At this point it was still considered unnecessary, almost eccentric, to go to sea purely for pleasure but by the middle of the century yacht racing had really taken off, regattas were all the rage and it had become a hugely popular activity.