Corinthian Yacht Club silver double fluke harpoon yacht prize manufactured by Whiting Mfg. Co. of New York. At the top of the trophy, there is a silver ring with a pair of silver chains attaching to small rings applied to the top of the harpoon shaft. There are two shorter chains attached to a silver oval like plaque with raised lettering which states “C.Y.C. of N.Y. Fourth Annual Sweepstakes. Newport. R.I. 2nd Prize. August 22d 1892. Wasp 1st – Harpoon 2d. Gloriana." The harpoon is very accurately formed to replicate an authentic double fluke harpoon. There is a broken snub shaft at one end of the harpoon giving the appearance that the harpoon was broken off by the whale. The end of the shaft near the wood is stamped “Sterling 4098." The same silver mark appears on the bottom rear of the raised lettered plaque. (MI-815)
Note 1: The Yacht "Harpoon" belonged to the 46 footer class which began in 1891. The Harppon was designed by Edward Burgess and built by A.J. Frisbee of Salem in 1891. She was originally named "Beatrix" and was sold to the Adams brothers of Boston. They refitted her for the racing season of 1892. The changes included a new sail-plan and a weighted centerboard designed by Stewart & Binney. The success of the alterations was proven by the fact that the "Harpoon" beat the previous winner "Gloriana" in five straight races , by a margin of nearly 5 minutes in each race. Harpoon also won the 1892 Goelet Cup for sloops, defeating both "Wasp" and "Gloriana."
Note 2: All three of the winning yachts were designed by famous yacht designers. Wasp the first-place yacht was a new 46 foot sloop designed by Nathanael Herreshoff for Archibald Rogers. This was the first yacht to be designed with a fully developed bulb keel. Harpoon was designed by Edward Burgess and was sailed by the Adams brothers. Third was Gloriana which was built and designed by Herreshoff the year before Wasp. The first place trophy won by Wasp was designed in the theme of a “Viking Horn” set in a silver base. The top of the horn has a scalloped silver border above a section of elephant ivory with raised lettering of the same font and design as the lettering found on the harpoon trophy’s plaque. The “Viking" trophy was described and illustrated in the Sotheby’s Americana Sale January 21-22, 2011 - lot 128. It is unknown at this time where the third prize is. These prizes must have been made following the race because how else would they have known to make a “Harpoon” shaped trophy till after the race.
Reference: The Yachts and Yachtsman of America edited by Henry A. Mott and published by the International Yacht Publishing Company, New York, 1894, Pages 467-476. The Corinthian Yacht of New York was founded in 1886 and was located in Tompkinsville Staten Island, NEW YORK. The “Annual Sweepstakes” sailed off Newport was inaugurated in 1889 and became regarded as amongst the most important yachting events of the season. The purses are contributed by the competitors and the amounts distributed have been by far the most valuable hitherto sailed for in American waters. This generous funding may account for why the trophies created in 1892 for the first, second and third place prizes are both so lavish and creative.
Dimensions Over All: Length 39 ¼ inches, Height Overall 39 inches
Dimensions of Plaque: Width 5 1/2 inches, Height 4 1/2 inches
In our files are copies of photographs by the Boston photographer Henry Peabody.