Print, Rounding the Lightship

The original of this 1883 lithograph titled Rounding the Lightship was painted by Frederic S. Cozzens. It shows several racing yachts rounding a lightship being used as a mark for a race course. The exact location of the race is not known, but most contemporary races started in New York Bay, proceeded down through the Narrows to either the Sandy Hook or Scotland lightship, then returned the way they had come. Yacht racing decreased quickly in the New York area in the early 20th century, due to an increase in commercial traffic and the increasingly polluted waters. A stern view of the yacht Fanny is in the left foreground. Fanny was a large centerboard sloop, 72 feet long, 23 feet 9 inches wide and weighed 49 tons. It was designed by D.O. Richmond of Mystic, CT in 1873 and built in 1874. Its official number was 120134. The yacht was owned by W.R. Travers of New York, and it frequently participated in races in New York Bay. It frequently won because of its exceptional crew. The yacht Gracie is shown broadside in the right foreground. Gracie was a large shallow centerboard sloop, 79 feet long by 21 feet wide and weighed 49 tons. It was designed and built by Mr. Polhemus in Nyack, NY in 1868. Its official number was 10902. The yacht was owned by C.R. Flint and J.P. Earle, both of New York. It was rebuilt several times, twice to be lengthened, and once completely rebuilt and rerigged with a double headsail rig by David Carll. Gracie had more victories than any other single-masted vessel of the area. The third yacht shown is Rover, just coming into view bow-first on the right. Rover was a centerboard sloop that measured 45 feet 6 inches long by 15 feet wide. It was designed and built by Mr. Piepgrass at Greenpoint, NY in 1880, and owned by W.E. Iselin of New York. To the far right a large steamship is visible. This was most likely a spectator vessel. Behind this is a smaller steamer, apparently a tug, containing the race officials.
Frederic S. Cozzens (1846-1928) was an American marine painter famous for his large portfolio of yacht racing lithographs. He lived in Staten Island and exhibited with the Boston Art Club, the Mystic Seaport Association, and the Brooklyn Art Association.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Cozzens, Frederic Schiller
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 14 3/8 in x 20 5/8 in; 36.5125 cm x 52.3875 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Cigna Maritime Collection
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Cigna Maritime Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

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