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Catalog entry

inv. 597
Rafes Chasm
Oil on canvas
34 1/4 x 48 1/4 in. (87 x 122.6 cm)
Signed lower center: Signed indistinctly F.H. Lane 1953
Private Collection, New Jersey

Related Work in the Catalog


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Subject Types:   Coastal Scene »
Landscape Types:   Rocky Shoreline »
Animals & People:   Men »   //   Seabirds »
Activities of People:   Hunting »

Historical Materials
Below is historical information related to the Lane work above. To see complete information on a subject on the Historical Materials page, click on the subject name (in bold and underlined).

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Maritime & Other Industries & Facilities: Bird Hunting

Bird hunting was an activity undertaken for both pleasure and by fishermen to protect the drying fish flakes and their nets. During the nesting seasons, the breeding grounds were systematically raided and the absence of seagulls in Lane's harbor scenes can be attributed to the fact that the population of sea birds was controlled. In addition, watchmen with fowling pieces protected the fish flakes.

Related tables: Drying Fish »
1852 Journal of John M. Stevens
John M. Stevens
September 1–November 18, 1852
Personal journal
Wilson Museum, Castine, Maine
Box 2, F1 (A00772)

John Stevens was the younger brother of Joseph Stevens, and acquainted with Lane, spending time with him in Gloucester and at the family home in Castine. His journal, quoted below, includes reference to hunting plover and teal, school, sailing, local events. Mentions Castine mill, lighthouse, and block house.

"Friday [September] 17th: Cloudy all day. Wind N. blowing quite hard. A British Rig loaded with salt from Liverpool came into port last night. She run way up by the Monument and got aground. They kedged her off this P.M. and came down. She came in with one of these old English charts as her guide. They have the town set down on the Brooksville side, two miles + three quarters from the lighthouse."

"Wednesday [September] 22. . .Went down to the Indians Camp on the Back Cove. There were five camps of them." 

Visits Gloucester from Castine:

"Wednesday [October] 27th. . .Left for Gloucester [from Boston] at 5 o'clock this P.M. arrived there safe + sound at 6 1/2 o'clock; went right down to the store and saw Joe. We then went up to his house and got supper.

"Thursday [October] 28th. At. Gloucester. Pleasant day. Went down to the "Cut" a gunning this morning before breakfast but saw no birds. Went out in the harbor this forenoon alone, had a fine sail but couldn't get a chance at any birds. Went out again this P.M. got down to East Point Light and the wind died all away, so I had to scull home."

"Friday 29th. Very pleasant day, went out in the harbor this morning with Joe. Took a walk this A.M. with "Lina", called on Mr. Lane + Doct. Hildreth. Joe + I went out in the harbor this P.M. I fired at some birds several times, but didn't get any. . . ."


Provenance (Information known to date; research ongoing.)

Private Collection, New Jersey

Exhibition History

No known exhibitions.

Published References

No known published references.

Related historical materials

Maritime & Other Industries & Facilities
Citation: "Rafes Chasm, 1853 (inv. 597)." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. (accessed May 29, 2024).
Record last updated January 30, 2019. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
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