The 'Zeeland' with the Statue of Liberty and New York, in the distance, signed and dated lower left 'Antonio Jacobsen 1910' oil on panel 54 x 88.5 cm
Provenance Christie's auction on September 12, 2000 lot 187
Jacobsen Antonio Nicolo Gasparo 1850- 1921
One of the most fascinating figures in American marine painting is Antonio Jacobsen. Jacobsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1850. Because his father was a violin maker, he was trained as a musician, but his true love was ships and the sea. He spent much of his time sketching by the waterfront.
When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1871, Jacobsen had no desire to be conscripted into the Danish army and came to the United States instead. With his sketching ability he quickly landed a job painting decorative scenes on the doors of iron safes. An executive of the Old Dominion Steamship Company was so impressed with his work, he asked him to paint pictures of some of the company's ships. This launched Jacobsen on his lifetime career.
During the course of his career it is estimated that Jacobsen painted between 5,000 to 6,000 paintings, almost exclusively portraits of ships. At one time during the late 19th Century, he was, in fact, commissioned on a daily basis by ship owners and captains to paint their vessels for posterity. Jacobsen would make detailed pencil sketches of the vessel, often covering four or five pages in a notebook. Each notebook was numbered and filed for reference.
His entire career was spent either in New York City or in a large house in West Hoboken, New Jersey that offered a magnificent view of the harbor. Over the years he painted every type of vessel: small and large, tugboats to racing sloops. In the mid-1880s, he did some forward-quarter views of yachts with sails billowing that, in the opinion of one expert came closer to fine art than any of his work.
Nearly every ship that sailed in and out of New York Harbor between 1873 and 1919 was chronicled by Jacobsen. While many of these extraordinary paintings have been combined in a special checklist published by the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia, still others continue to come to light, even today. His characteristic profile of the vessel and unique treatment of the sea make his paintings almost instantly recognizable to any marine enthusiast.
SS ZEELAND 1901 RED STAR LINE
SS Zeeland was a British and Belgian ocean liner of the International Mercantile Marine Co (IMM). She was a sister ship of the Vaderland and an almost sister ship of Kroonland and Finland of the same company. Although her name was Dutch, it was changed to the less German-sounding SS Northland during World War I. She served for a time as a British troop ship under the name HMT Northland. After the First World War the ship was renamed Zeeland, in her later career the ship was renamed SS Minnesota. The Zeeland primarily sailed for IMM's Red Star Line for most of her early career, but she was also chartered by the White Star Line (later White Star-Dominion), the International Navigation Company, the American Line, and the Atlantic Transport Line, all IMM subsidiaries.
In July 1899, the Red Star Line announced plans to build four large steamships. Two ships, Vaderland and Zeeland at John Brown & Company of Clydebank in Scotland, and two others, Kroonland and Finland, were to be built at William Cramp and Sons in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  launched on November 24, 1900, Zeeland made her maiden voyage from Antwerp to New York on April 13, 1901, flying the British flag.
When the Kroonland and Finland were finished in 1902, the Zeeland started its regular service on the connection route Antwerp-New York sailing in the opposite direction of the Vaderland. In April 1910, Zeeland was chartered to the White Star Line for service between Liverpool and Boston, where she remained until September 1911. The following month, Zeeland was returned to New York Red Star's Antwerp service. In July 1912, the liner was reflagged as a Belgian ship, she remained on the same route, and continued to sail for the Red Star Line.
World War I
After August 1914 and the outbreak of the First World War, Zeeland was reflagged as a British ship, sailing from Liverpool to New York from September. Then the ship was shifted to the White Star-Dominion Line, the Zeeland first sailed from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal from November from Liverpool to Halifax and from December and January 1915 to Halifax. In early 1915, the Zeeland, although her name was Dutch, was renamed the less German-sounding SS Northland. Sailing for the International Navigation Company, she served on the Liverpool-Halifax-Portland line before returning to the Liverpool-Quebec-Montreal route.
Then following a period when she was incorporated as a British troop ship, under the name HMT Northland, in August 1916 she served with the White Star-Dominion Line. In April 1917, the Northland began its Liverpool-Halifax service.
In February 1919, the SS Northland began sailing from Liverpool to Philadelphia on the American Line through June 1919. After a refurbishment, the ship was renamed Zeeland back to the Red Star. Line, and served from Antwerp to New York (from August 1920 with intermediate stops in Southampton). In April 1923 the Zeeland was converted into cabin and third class passenger ship only. De Zeeland began her last Red Star voyage on October 8, 1926. Transferred to the Atlantic Transport Line in 1927, she was renamed SS Minnesota and began her tourist service between London and New York from April. After making her last voyage in September 1929, Minnesota was sold and scrapped at Inverkeithing in 1930.
4 400 €