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Lot 513 (The Scottish Contemporary Art Auction, 26th May 2019)


Sold for £650


oil on canvas, signed and dated 1983
50cm x 71cm (approx 20 x 28 inches)
Note: Launched 1910, Length 66.5ft, Beam 18ft, Gross 92 tons. Built for their own fleet by J & J Hay, Cretan saw wartime service with the Admiralty in the Cromarty Firth. She sank in 1939 in Loch Na Keal off Mull, as reported by the "Oban Times" of the 14th January that year: "The steam lighter CRETAN was driven ashore at the rocky headland Rudh na Dobhrain in Loch na Keal to the west of Mull in the early hours of last Saturday morning. The boat was on her way to Inchkenneth, having been specially chartered to proceed from Glasgow to remove the furniture and effects of the late Lady Boulton. Lady Boulton died in Oban in October last, and was the widow of Sir Harold Boulton, the composer of The Skye Boat Song. When the CRETAN had reached Loch na Keal a blizzard was blowing, and as a precaution, the boat was anchored. The weather got worse, however, and she dragged her anchor and was driven on the rocks. Captain Macilwaine and the crew, with difficulty got ashore in their boat and obtained shelter at a farmhouse. The CRETAN is still on the rocks and so badly damaged that it is feared she will become a total wreck. The crew of four arrived at Oban on Tuesday by the Lochinvar on their way back to Glasgow. The CRETAN is 39 tons register, and the owners are Messrs. Hay & Sons, Glasgow." That was not to be the end of her though and she was later sold "as is" to Elizabeth Hardie & Daniel McNeil of Greenock who salvaged her and returned her to service re-named "Na Kiel". She was eventually scrapped in 1951.
Provenance: "This painting was presented to me at the Harbour Arts Centre in 1983 or early 1984, as a thank you for my work in securing funds for (and removing threat of closure of) the HAC. My term with HAC ended when I moved back to London in April 1984. The painting has remained in my possession except for a brief loan period back to Mr Orchardson, for copying into print for a calendar (circa 1986)" - Mr David Taylor.

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