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Reproduced courtesy of David Brangwyn

The OPHIR in Suez canal

Date: 1900
Overall: 700 x 1058 x 40 mm
Sight: 478 x 839 mm
Medium: Wood frame, glass, paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from P&O Australia
Object Copyright: © David Brangwyn
Object Name: Print
Object No: 00046488

User Terms

    This dramatic print by British artist Sir Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956) depicts the Orient liner OPHIR at the height of its popularity flanked by bum boats and Arab hawkers - familiar sights to passengers travelling via the Suez Canal and Port Said.
    SignificanceThe print was likely the artwork for an Orient Line poster promoting OPHIR and its fortnightly mail route from London to Sydney. It is typical of company posters produced during this period which highlighted the grandeur of various ships juxtaposed with the exotic sights and delights of travel abroad.
    HistoryThe Orient Line ship the OPHIR was built by Napier and Son in Glasgow in 1891 and was the first steamer on the Royal Mail route to sport twin screws. The ship was often described as 'the opulent OPHIR'. The Orient Line received a substantial subsidy from the British Government to carry the Royal Mail, which was dispatched fortnightly from London. The OPHIR called at Plymouth, Gibraltar, Naples, Port Said, Suez, Colombo, Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

    In 1901 the OPHIR carried the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall to Australia as part of an imperial tour to thank the colonies for their assistance during the Boer War. After this high profile visit the ship's popularity soared, but the vessel continued to lose money for the Orient Line. During World War I the OPHIR was commissioned as an armed merchant cruiser and in 1918 it was purchased by the British Admiralty and converted into a hospital ship.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Framed print of OPHIR in the Suez Canal by Frank Brangwyn

    (not entered): The OPHIR in Suez canal

    Related People
    Publisher: Orient Line

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