The New London Maritime Society, stewards of the New London Harbor Light, recently announced that it intends to repaint the lighthouse as well as the interior of the Custom House Maritime Museum this year. So it seemed fitting that today's eBay Tuesday item would be relate to a different kind of lighthouse painting.
This painting on driftwood of the New London Harbor Light was completed by Susan Thau, who offers numerous driftwood paintings of birds and lighthouses in her "Beaks n Beacons" store. According to the listing, Thau is a self-taught artist who has been painting driftwood collected near her Kent Island, Md. home since 1992.
The subject of this painting is, of course, quite a bit older. The site on Long Island Sound at the entrance to the Thames River has been used for navigational aids since the light was first established in 1759. A 64-foot tower went up in 1761 and served as a beacon until 1799, when structural issues and complaints that the light could hardly be distinguished from nearby homes led to the construction of the current lighthouse.
The 89-foot octagonal stone New London Harbor Light was built in 1801, making it both the oldest and tallest lighthouse in the state of Connecticut. The keeper's house, also featured in the painting, was built in 1863 but became a private residence after the beacon was automated in 1912.
The New London Maritime Society took ownership of the lighthouse in 2009, with formal conveyance taking place the next year. It has since promoted the New London Harbor Light as well as other lighthouses in the area with Sentinels on the Sound, which offers tours of the beacon as well as Ledge Light and New London Harbor. This year, the United States Postal Service announced that New London Harbor Light would be one of five New England lighthouses featured in a postage stamp series.
Thau's painting 21 inches long by three and a half inches wide by one and a quarter inches thick. It weighs about two pounds and comes with a wire hanger. The asking price is $24.95, plus $8.60 for shipping. The auction ends at about 10:32 p.m. tonight.