Toy Boats Storage Case Jack B. Yeats, R.H.A.

Toy Boats Storage Case Jack B. Yeats, R.H.A.Toy Boats Storage Case Jack B. Yeats, R.H.A.

Wooden storage case for toy boats, Jack B. Yeats, R.H.A. 1871-1957 decorated with nineteen water colour drawings approx. 320 x 810 x 1210mm., boarded pine linen chest, hinged with lid, nineteen ink and watercolour drawings by Jack B. Yeats pasted onto inside of lid (largest watercolour 225 by 290mm.) , cast-iron carrying handles on two sides, seven slats of wood at base, lock.

John “Jack” Butler Yeats (29 August 1871 – 28 March 1957) was an Irish artist and Olympic medalist. W. B. Yeats was his brother.

Butler’s early style was that of an illustrator; he only began to work regularly in oils in 1906. His early pictures are simple lyrical depictions of landscapes and figures, predominantly from the west of Ireland—especially of his boyhood home of Sligo. Yeats’s work contains elements of Romanticism.

Yeats was born in London, England. He was the youngest son of Irish portraitist John Butler Yeats and the brother of W. B. Yeats, who received the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature. He grew up in Sligo with his maternal grandparents, before returning to his parents’ home in London in 1887. Early in his career he worked as an illustrator for magazines like the Boy’s Own Paper and Judy, drew comic strips, including the Sherlock Holmes parody “Chubb-Lock Homes” for Comic Cuts, and wrote articles for Punch under the pseudonym “W. Bird”.  In 1894 he married Mary Cottenham, also a native of England and two years his senior, and resided in Wicklow according to the Census of Ireland, 1911. Reference: Wikipedia

This large toy boats storage case includes 19 ink and watercolour drawings by Yeats pasted onto the inside of the lid. They date from 1912 to 1913. Titles include ‘Old Style in the Gara Valley’, ‘Theodore of the Gulf’ (with added embellishments laid down), ‘The Count with the New Tobacco Box Tomb June 21st 1913’ and ‘The Theo in the Sargasso Sea July 29th 1912’.  Subjects are both toy boats and the characters relating to the Theodore ballads.

It appears that these drawings have been pasted on top of earlier decorations (the reverse of which can be seen through a large split in the lid). A couple of lines from A Little Fleetsuggests that the earlier decorations included illustrations from that volume. Given the size of the box together with the subject of the illustrations, it seems entirely likely that this was originally used by Jack B. Yeats to store his toy boats.

Sold for 15,000 GBP at Sotheby’s

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