Ben Boyd and the Floating Crown (c. 1973) – SOLD

Available at: SOLD

Detail photos for this Artwork

I’m exited to let you know of this exquisite David Boyd arrival. This beautifully rendered painting is from David Boyd’s “Wanderer” Series of works, inspired by his visit to the Sydney Yacht Club, where he saw the helm and compass from a beautiful schooner, “The Wanderer”. The ship was once owned by a possible ancestor of David Boyd, a flamboyant character known as Benjamin Boyd.

Benjamin Boyd arrived in Sydney in 1842 on his ship “The Wanderer”. He was a London banker of Scottish origin, with lucrative whaling and pastoral interests. Wealthy, adventurous and charming, and the owner of a luxurious ship, the likes of which had not been seen in Sydney before, Ben Boyd instantly became the toast of the new colony.

Ben Boyd had always dreamed of creating and leading a Pacific Empire and so, with the aid of a large convict labour force, he began the building of his dream at Boyd Town. When the authorities withdrew his convict labour force he resorted to “black birding” from New Caledonia.  The scheme failed and his empire collapsed. Disillusioned, Ben Boyd departed the colony, sailing away in “The Wanderer”,  still in search of his dream of becoming king of a Pacific paradise.

Ironically, he died at the hands of Pacific inhabitants on an island near Guarda Canal. After Ben’s death, the crew of “The Wanderer” ransacked the village of Ben’s attackers, and the schooner was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef during a storm. Today all that remains of the beautiful ship are the helm and compass displayed at the Sydney Yacht Club.
In this wonderful painting we see “The Wanderer” schooner and Ben Boyd in the water reaching for his dream of an imperial Pacific crown. David Boyd also includes symbolism reminiscent of earlier paintings from his Judge Series. In the fruit tree over the water, we see the shadowy figure of a gowned and wigged judge, perhaps David’s metaphor for justice. And hovering over Ben, David Boyd places the glowing and ethereal figure of his angel “Europa”. Endowed with golden shimmering wings the angel is a beacon of good and creates serenity and grace in this fascinating painting.
Oil on Canvas
50 x 61 cm
86.5 x 76.5 cm
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