DUTTON, Thomas Goldsworth (circa 1819 - 1891) after Sir Oswald W. BRIERLEY (1817-1894)
The "America" Winning the Match at Cowes for the [Club Cup] ... open to Yachts of all Classes, and Nations from the original sketch taken [on] the spo[t b]y Oswald W. Brierj[ey]
London: Ackermann & Co, October 22nd 1851. Tinted lithograph drawn on stone by Dutton after Brierley, printed by Day & Son. Small expert repairs. Sheet size: 17 1/8 x 27 1/8 inches.
The great yacht whose humiliating defeat of all British rivals lead to the establishment of the greatest of all yachting challenge cup races: the "America's Cup".
Owned by Commodore John C. Stevens and five other members of the New York Yacht Club, the America was built in New York to the revolutionary design of George Steers. Launched in May 1851, in June of the same year she sailed to challenge the English yachting establishment. After having two challenges for races turned down, Commodore Stevens entered America in the Royal Yacht Squadron Regatta and under the brilliant captainship of Richard Brown (a highly skilled member of the Sandy Hook Pilots) she beat the best of the British yachts "with great ease" (India House Collection, p.62). The syndicate returned to New York with their prize: a trophy that was to become the America's Cup. The America herself was sold to John, Lord de Blaquiere on 1st September 1851, and four days later the present image was published.
In July 1857, the original owners of the America donated their prize through a Deed of Gift to the New York Yacht Club: the deed stipulated that the cup was to be held in trust as a 'challenge' trophy to promote friendly competition. "Stung by this blow to contemporary perceptions of invincible British sea power, a succession of British syndicates attempted to win back the cup, but the New York Yacht Club remained unbeaten for 25 challenges over 113 years, the longest winning streak in the history of sport. Matches were held in the vicinity of New York City from 1870 to 1920, ... From 1930 to 1983, the races were sailed off Newport, Rhode Island for the rest of the NYYCs reign." (Wikipedia).
Cf. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Marine Collection to be found at India House (New York: 1935) item number 252 (includes a lengthy note on the subsequent history of the America ).