Canadian & Inuit Fine Art

May 27, 2019

LOT 127

Lot 127


Lot 127 Details


coloured pencil and graphite
signed, dated 1885 and inscribed "Toronto, Ont."
sheet 20 ins x 31.5 ins; 50.8 cms x 80 cms

Estimate $5,000-$7,000

Realised: $8,400
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images

Private Collection, Ontario


Robert B. Townsend, Tales from the Great Lakes, Dundurn Press, Toronto, page 82.

Robert Shipley, Schooners (Great Lake Album Series), Vanwell Pub Ltd., St. Catharines, 1991, cover for this lot, illustrated in colour. 


Maritime portraits are a fascinating and specialized genre. Often they are commissioned by a ship's proud owner or captain, at other times they are painted to commemorate a memorable or even heroic event associated with the vessel. We do not know why C.I Gibbons painted the Great Lakes schooner, the Maple Leaf, but we do know she was considered  "the comeliest little schooner on Lake Ontario". Robert Shipley selected this painting to illustrate the cover of his 1991 publication Schooners

Built in 1867, the Maple Leaf was used as a "stone hooker" grabbing stones from the bottom of Lake Ontario and hauling them to shore as building material for the foundations of a young Toronto. Richard Goldring, her Captain, was barely out of his teens when he first began to sail her, which he continued to do for many decades. The Maple Leaf and Goldring had a rich history together: He "brought her safely through the Great Gale of 1880 and brought her back to life after the Great Esplanade Fire of 1885."

The Maple Leaf remains a symbol of a time when skill, rigor, pluck, and hard work, with the promise of only modest rewards, were a matter of course for those who made their livelihood sailing the Lakes.


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 127

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.