Search the Collection
Advanced Search

The AMERICA Schottisch dedicated to Commodore John C. Stevens

Date: 1851
Sheet: 345 × 256 mm
Medium: Lithograph on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sheet music
Object No: 00006152
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    This musical score was composed and arranged for piano forte by William Dressler and dedicated to Commodore John Stevens, the Captain of the yacht AMERICA, which won the America's Cup in 1851. The sheet music cover features a colour lithograph of the yacht AMERICA. The vessel is shown from its starboard side. AMERICA was the first yacht to win the race that would eventually be known as the America's Cup.

    SignificanceThis sheet music commemorates the inaugural winner of what would become the America's Cup Yacht Race and is an early souvenir of the event. The America's Cup is still a major event in the yachting calendar and AMERICA a key yacht in the history of competitive sailing.
    HistoryIn 1848 Queen Victoria instigated the creation of a golden cup, known as the 'One Hundred Guinea Cup' to be awarded for a yacht race. The competition would be open to all nations. In the inaugural race on 22 August 1851 the United States-built schooner AMERICA challenged 16 British vessels and was victorious in the 85 kilometre race around the Isle of Wight. The Cup, renamed the Amercia's Cup, was taken to America where it remained for 152 years beating many international challengers until an Australian syndicate won it in 1983, with its 'secret weapon' winged-keel design developed by Australian Ben Lexcen and the Netherlands Ship Model Basin. The competition remains one of the world's most elite, competitive, highly-sought-after and prestigious sailing events.

    AMERICA was a schooner yacht designed by George Steers for Commodore John Cox Stevens. Steers was a member of the New York Yacht Club and built the vessel as a deliberate challange to the British designed vessels that were dominating the sport of yachting.

    Sheet music offers an insight into popular culture and social values at the time of their production. The widely distributed pieces were sold fairly cheaply, making them popular purchases with the general public. Music was an integral part of people's social life in the home and at events such as balls, recitals, concerts and theatre shows. In the mid-19th century many middle class families owned a piano, an important part of their social entertainment and recreation at home. Music sheets featuring waltzes, quadrilles, galops, polkas and mazurkas were everyday favourites. The music covered a range of themes including travel, plays, public events and literature, with the launch of a ship being a common reason for composing a piece.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Musical score dedicated to Commodore John Stevens, the Captain of AMERICA, the yacht that originally won the trophy which became the Americas' Cup

    Primary title: The AMERICA Schottisch dedicated to Commodore John C. Stevens

    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.