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Lot 0020 Details

Capt. John J Bertoncini Illus Arctic Whaling Ship’s Log of the Penelope 1900-1902 Important Marine Maritime Document Book by Johnny the Painter aka Bertonccini
Captain John J. Bertoncini Illustrated Arctic Whaling Ships Log of the Penelope 1900-1902 Important Marine Maritime Document Book by Johnny the Painter aka Bertonccini

The illustrated journal of the whaler Penelope by artist John Bertoncini from an arctic voyage spanning 1900 to 1902.

The log is 7.5” x 9.5” with approx. 51 pages of material – 1 page of a crew listing and approximately 50 pages of color illustrations approx. 5.5” x 7.5”, one per page, many vivid in color, many of which are double sided (each illustration or counted as a page).

Captain John Justus Bertonccini (1872-1947) sailed from San Francisco for decades as master of steam whaling barks and of the Balclutha when it was called Star of Alaska. His father, an artist, was Italian and his mother, Swedish. Born in Stockholm July 7, 1872, he first went to sea about 1892 on a voyage to the Arctic where he served almost continuously on whalers and trading vessels until the 1930s. He was master of the Star of Alaska in 1925 during a season in the Alaska salmon trade. Sailor, artist and historian, Bertonccini recorded and vividly illustrated his long maritime career. He was known as "Johnny the Painter" for his skill at painting scenery for amateur theatricals with which crews amused themselves when wintering-over at Herschel Island in the Arctic Circle. Bertonccini also painted several whaling scenes in 1893 -96, one of which is part of the Kahn Collection. He died in Seattle in 1947 at age 75 [adapted from the kahnfoundation org Bertonccini (note spelling with two c's) website published by the Paul and Linda Kahn Foundation.]

Bertoncini's Smithsonian Citation:

Memoirs from the American Whaling Fleet Sch Bonanza, (painting).Artist: Bertoncini, John, painter.Title: Memoirs from the American Whaling Fleet Sch Bonanza, (painting).Dates: 1904.Medium: Watercolor.Dimensions: 8 3/4 x 10 in. (cm. 22.2 x 25.4)Subject: Waterscape BoatPrimitiveOccupation Industry WhalingObject Type: PaintingOwner: Kendall Whaling Museum, 27 Everett Street, P.O. Box 297, Sharon, Massachusetts 02067References: Coll. Catalog, 1965.Illustration: Coll. Catalog, 1965, P.66Note: The information provided about this artwork was compiled as part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture database, designed to provide descriptive and location information on artworks by American artists in public and private collections worldwide.Repository: Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Control Number: IAP 22800006

Bertoncini's Peabody Essex Museum Citation:

Bark Bounding Billow, c.1892 (oil on canvas), Bertoncini, John (1872-c.1930) /Image Copyright Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, USA / The Bridgeman Art LibraryPEM 219470Image number:Bark Bounding Billow, c.1892 (oil on canvas)Title:Bertoncini, John (1872-c.1930)Primary creator:AmericanNationality:Location:oil on canvasMedium:19th (C19th)Date:Sea and ShippingSeascapesCategories:

The artist is also included in the Van Nast 1892-1910 Canadian Non-Native Whalers in the Beaufort Sea Inventory published by McGill University.


Cover is intact but visibly stained as often encountered with on board journals, front interior board lining paper deadhering and rear interior board paper absent, hand stitched binding thread absent with three extant charming small binding holes, artwork and crew page is generally VERY GOOD throughout, amazingly intact with no tears or losses of folds to speak of as we carefully leaf through it. REALLY NICE FIND! Paper hue has generally evenly mellowed to off white commensurate with age and there are small areas of browning and or very small spots of foxing lightly scattered and generally towards edges with one or two pages with more visible browning. This is the estate find of your dreams!
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20: Capt. John J Bertoncini Illus Arctic Whaling Ship’s

Estimate $5,000 - $15,000Jul 19, 2012
Starting Price $500
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Ships fromSt. Petersburg, FL, United States

Hess Fine Auctions

St. Petersburg, FL, USA