Original Howard Chapelle Blueprints ???

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by usrshut, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. usrshut
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: Illinois

    usrshut Junior Member

    A few years ago I was given 4 tubes of old blueprints of different sailing boats/ships/schooners/Pinky's etc. They were given to me by a fellow that worked as a TV camera man in California. He said he use to be an avid sailor back in his hey day. He has since died. I thought the prints were were pretty neat from a quick glance and had planned to get some of them mounted for my study and lower house unit. Well, I purchased a different home a year ago and have been busy as a bee getting it the way I want it and doing some improvements etc. My wife recently opened the tubes and studied some and took note that some of them are from Chapelle. They have been protected in the tubes but still look old as in old world ammonia processed blueprints.

    Does any know how I can authenticate the prints? Perhaps the Smithsonian?
    Any help or leads would be greatly appreciated.
    :?:
     
  2. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Copies of most if not all of Howard Chapelle's drawings are available from the Smithsonian Institution. http://americanhistory.si.edu/csr/shipplan.htm Many of the drawings were also reproduced in his books and other publications.

    Not sure what you mean by "authenticate". That they are copies of drawings that Chapelle made? Should be possible by comparing them with drawings in his books with copies from the Smithsonian.

    Or are you interested in getting some provenance back to Chapelle himself? I doubt that's possible unless Chapelle signed the blueprints for some reason, or unless there is a note from him, etc in one of the tubes.

    Most likely someone ordered copies of the drawings from the Smithsonian years ago. They used to be around $3/sheet but they've since raised the price; still not too costly compared to copies of drawings from some other sources.

    If you're interested in their value, probably somewhat less than the cost of new copies from the Smithsonian given that blueprints generally don't age well. If you can prove that Chapelle actually touched your copies then perhaps a little more, perhaps not.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Blue prints don't age at all and better be kept in the tubes and preferably in a reasonable environment.

    I personally knew Howard and am very familiar with his work. If you scan the hand written title bar in the corner, I can probably tell you if it's his work. He had a distinctive style which is easy to recognize if you're familiar with his work.

    Conversely, you can order the same plans from the Smithsonian in all likelihood and compare the sets.
     
  4. usrshut
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: Illinois

    usrshut Junior Member

    @ Par

    @ PAR:
    I could take a photo and send it to you. I don't have your Email address though. The prints are in great condition. There is a Chapelle signature on them. These are the blueprint type docs and not the white originals. I took blueprint reading/writing way back in the early 70's and the method I learned involved putting the paper in a clear plastic tube and introducing a gas (ammonia?) into it and it turned the copy blue. This is exactly what the prints look like. They really dont look like copy machine or camera made copies. They are large in size on the order of 3x5 ft. I have several prints ~ 30-50. Haven't really counted them yet. Some are in sets, different views, sails, rigging etc... My friend that gave them to me was moving from here, Illinois, to Hawaii and was tossing stuff on the trash pile. I rescued them... seeing the beauty in them. He died around the age of 70. He lived in San Francisco had hung around one of the BEACH BOYS .... not sure which one. He did work for Liz Taylor and was a camera man for the TV series ADAM 12. Covered ABC wide world of Sports (I rescued an ABC sports flag from him also). He was born on one of the Islands... I think it was Martinique? So as you can see he was a very colorful character and rubbed elbows with a lot of different people. Anyway any help you can give me I would immensely appreciate. Having some Chapelle prints to me is like owning a Picasso! I am somewhat confident that these are the real deal. Thanx for your help.
     

  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Blue prints were made to not "reproduce" well, which is why you'll have issues at the copier. Place a sheet of black paper behind the copy, which will darken both the white spaces and the "non-photo" blue. "Colorful" isn't the way most that knew him, would described him, but that'll do for now.

    Click on my name and you'll find an email address.
     
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