Watercolor and gouache illuminated manuscript style proclamation presented by the New York Yacht Club. The document states “C. Sherman Hoyt member of the afterguard of the Vanitie which were so conspicuously exhibited in the unusually close trial races during the Summer and which contributed so largely to the final success of the Resolute in the International Races.” The document is dated at the bottom of the text January 1921 and signed in ink near the bottom by GA Cormack NYYC Secretary. This document which is the only one known amongst the proclamations that we given by the NYYC club to members of the “Vanitie” afterguard for the 1920 America’s Cup trials.
This watercolor and guilt decorated proclamation exhibits magnificent lettering and embellishments similar in style to an illuminated manuscript of the middle ages. At the top is a small watercolor painting of the NYYC burgee. A second highly detailed watercolor appears near the bottom of the right depicting “Vanitie” under full sail.
The club presented similar style proclamations to individuals deemed worthy of special note. A smaller group of these proclamations were presented to syndicate leaders, skippers and afterguard members for their partication in the America’s Cup trial races and final races. Other known examples listed below are all signed by GA Cormack NYYC Secretary. The list below identifies four other examples of the America’s Cup related proclamations that are reproduced and described in the series of the nine-volume set of books titled “The Holy Grail of Yachting: The Art of the America’s Cup” by Alan Granby and Janice Hyland and Envisioned and Sponsored by William I. Koch. The proclamation described above is the only one listed in private hands.
Volume IV page 192 – Presented to Captain C. Oliver Iselin as syndicate manager of the 1903 America’s Cup dated Feb 11, 1904. (H - 11/3/8 W – 8 inches) Collection Mystic Seaport
Volume IV page 270 – Presented to Arthur Curtis James as syndicate member of the 1920 America’s Cup dated January 1921. (H - 17 ¾ W – 11 ½ inches) Collection Mystic Seaport
Volume IV page 271 – Presented to C.F. Adams 2nd Skipper of “Resolute” America’s Cup 1920, dated January 1921.
(H 17 ¾ W – 11 ½ inches) Collection Mystic Seaport
Volume V page 76 – Presented to Harold S. Vanderbilt as skipper and syndicate leader of the yacht “Enterprise” for the 1930 America’s Cup. The document is dated December 18, 1930. (H – 15 ½ W – 10 5/8 inches) Collection The Preservation Society of Newport County, Marble House.
Glasgow-trained naval architect and constructor, brilliant amateur racing helmsman and tactician, gifted yacht designer, indefatigable ocean-racer, and America’s Cup legend, Sherman Hoyt was often called “the world’s best known yachtsman.” More than half a century after his death, he remains a unique - and uniquely appealing - figure in the annals of the sport.
Note: Charles Sherman Hoyt (1880 – 1961)
An Illuminated Certificate from NYYC to Sherman Hoyt as a Member of the Afterguard of " excellent brief introduction to Hoyt’s character and yachting accomplishments is the chapter titled “Vanitie and Resolute” in his celebrated autobiography Sherman Hoyt’s Memoirs (NY, 1950). The chapter details the efforts of Hoyt, George Nichols, and the other members of “Vanitie’s” afterguard and professional crew to surmount gear failures and bad luck in the 1920 America’s Cup trials against Resolute. Although “Vanitie” ultimately lost in the trials, Hoyt went on to play crucial roles in the triumphs of Enterprise over Shamrock V in the 1930 Cup races and Rainbow over Endeavour in 1934. No one has ever written more entertainingly about America’s Cup competition—or with more firsthand understanding of the sport of yachting in all its forms. Note by - Llewellyn Howland III
Condition of document: The document was recently cleaned and backed by the restorer Alvarez in NYC. The paper shows some even toning.
Condition of frame: The picture has a new 23k gold leaf molded frame and a linen matt with gold interior liner.
Dimensions of image: H – 16 ¾ W – 11 1/8 inches
Dimensions of frame: H – 26 ¾ W – 21, inches