Auctioneers and Appraisers

Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804-1865) The Old Homestead, Castine, Maine






American & European Works of Art - 2635B
Date / Time :
February 01, 2013 12:00PM


Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804-1865)

The Old Homestead, Castine, Maine
Titled, inscribed, and dated ".../F. H. Lane to J. L. Stevens Jr. 1851" l.c.,
inscribed "Front view of the Old Homestead - Castine- Me/Taken by Fitz H. Lane, Gloucester - Mass -/for Joseph L. Stevens Jr./August 1851/Lettered by George F. Tilden/Architect/Milton-Boston" in pencil on the reverse.
Watercolor and ink on paper, 10 5/8 x 15 15/16 in. (26.9 x 40.5 cm), framed.
Condition: Toning, scattered fox marks, surface imperfections to u.l. corner, abrasions and tape to the reverse.

Provenance: By descent within the family of Joseph Lowe Stevens.

N.B. The gracious home shown in this watercolor was the residence of Dr. Joseph Lowe Stevens, Sr., in Castine, Maine. The watercolor was dedicated by Fitz Henry Lane to Dr. Stevens's son, Joseph Lowe Stevens, Jr. (1823-1908). The younger Stevens, who moved from Castine to Gloucester in 1840, became a close friend of Lane, most likely meeting the artist through the Gloucester Lyceum library, where both men were members. The friendship blossomed as Lane spent more time in Gloucester, especially after he moved into his stone house on the hill. (1) In 1848, Stevens invited Lane to visit his family in Castine, a trip that would mark Lane's first visit to the Maine coast. A new friendship blossomed between Lane and Dr. and Mrs. Stevens, Sr., and they enjoyed visits together in Gloucester and Castine. John Wilmerding writes that, "During subsequent visits he [Lane] would paint many pictures of the vicinity as well as small oils of the family house and views done especially for presentation to the Stevens family."(2) Lane spent a number of summers in the 1850s in Castine, staying at the "Old Homestead," as the Stevens's residence was known. From the house there was a good view down to the waterfront and the bay. Joseph Stevens, Jr., would row or sail Lane to various locations in the Penobscot Bay where Lane would sketch scenes he would later turn into oils in his Gloucester studio. In 1851 Lane sketched the Old Homestead, including two watercolors of the house for Stevens, Jr. (3) Lane later based an oil painting on the watercolor, including in the oil a view of Dr. Stevens approaching the house on horseback. (Private Collection) (4)

1. Dunlap, Sarah and Stephanie Buck, Fitz Henry Lane, Family and Friends (Gloucester: Cape Ann Historical Museum, 2007), pp.76-80.
2. Wilmerding, John, Fitz Henry Lane, the reprint of a 1971 book entitled "Fitz Hugh Lane" (Gloucester: Cape Ann Historical Association, 2005), p. 51.
3. Unpublished letter from Stevens family descendant.
Estimate $30,000-50,000

The house has undergone several renovations, but still stands at 88 Main Street, on the corner of Stevens Street.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


J. L. Stevens Jr., Henry Lane, Gloucester, Castine, Maine, Old Homestead, Gloucester studio, The Old Homestead, George F. Tilden, Joseph L. Stevens Jr., Joseph Lowe Stevens, Joseph Lowe Stevens , Sr., John Wilmerding, Joseph Lowe Stevens , Jr., Gloucester Lyceum library, Maine coast, Stevens , Sr., Joseph Stevens , Jr., Penobscot Bay, oil, oil painting, Stevens , Jr., Sarah Buck, Stephanie Buck, Cape Ann Historical Museum, Ann Historical Association,, Fitz Henry Lane, Stevens