Charles Edward Dixon
Estimate: £8,000 - £12,000
ca. US$10,255 - US$15,383
Price realised: £22,562
Charles Edward Dixon (British, 1872-1934) RMS Olympic off New York signed and dated 'Charles Dixon 1910' (lower left) oil on canvas 58.5 x 92cm (23 1/16 x 36 1/4in). Fußnoten Provenance Anon. sale Sotheby's, New York, 13 September 1978, lot 128. The collection of the late Mr Dean Winans Mathey Jnr. Private collection, US. Despite being constantly overshadowed by the memory of her more famous sister Titanic, the Olympic was nevertheless an extremely successful Atlantic liner in her own right. Built for the White Star Line by Harland & Wolff at Belfast, she was launched in October 1910, completed in May 1911, the year before Titanic, and entered service as the largest liner in the world. Registered at 45,324 tons gross, she measured 882 feet in length with a 92 foot beam and had accommodation for 2,021 passengers in three classes. Intended - with Titanic when she was ready - to entice custom away from the record-breaking Cunarders Mauretania and Lusitania with greatly enhanced luxury rather than increased speed, she had hardly begun her career when the loss of the Titanic dealt a crippling blow to White Star's aspirations and seriously undermined the company's financial position. Even before that tragedy however, Olympic's own life had begun inauspiciously when, on 20th September 1911, only three months after completing her maiden voyage, she collided with the cruiser H.M.S. Hawke off Southampton Water leaving both vessels seriously damaged. Olympic was forced to return to Belfast for repairs, a journey she then had to repeat barely a year later when various alterations, including the installation of additional lifeboats, were undertaken in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster. Back in service in April 1913, the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 disrupted her schedules yet again when she was taken up as a troopship almost immediately. From September 1915, when she was dazzle-painted, her trooping duties were mostly in the Mediterranean where she survived several submarine attacks in the next two years. On 12th May 1918, on her 22nd trooping voyage, she first of all avoided a torpedo salvo and then rammed and sank the German submarine responsible, U103, off the Lizard. After the Armistice and for the first half of 1919, she was employed repatriating Canadian and American troops and, by the time she returned to Belfast for refitting that August, she had safely carried over 200,000 men and earned herself the nickname "Old Reliable". Refurbished, including conversion to oil-firing, by Harland & Wolff at a cost of £500,000, she resumed her Southampton - New York service in July 1920, turning in her fastest ever crossing of 5 days, 12 hours and 39 minutes in 1921. Following White Star's acquisition of the Majestic [the ex-German liner Bismarck] in 1922, Olympic at last had an effective running mate and for nearly ten years made a significant contribution to White Star's profits as well as the line's reputation. Despite her best efforts, one of the most dramatic effects of the depressed world economy in the 1930s was the merger of White Star with their old rival Cunard in February 1934 but even this event was, to an extent, overtaken by what happened on 16th May the same year when Olympic rammed and sank the Nantucket lightship in thick fog with the loss of all seven lightkeepers' lives. Perhaps it was coincidental given her increasing age but, within a year, Olympic was laid up at Southampton and had been partially dismantled at Jarrow by the end of 1935, with what was left of her hull finally scrapped at Inverkeithing in 1937. Previous owner of this painting, Mr Dean Winans Mathey Jnr., was son to Dean Mathey (1890-1972) and Gertrude Mathey (nee Winans) (1890-1949). Following his mother's death Mathey's father remarried Helen Behr (nee Monypeny Newsom) (?-1965), widow to Wimbledon and Davis Cup finalist Karl Behr (1885-1949). Famously, Karl accompanied Helen on board Titanic. Following the ships collision with the iceberg, whilst on
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