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Salem's ships sailed to the farthest port of the rich East

Date: 18th century
Overall: 710 x 945 mm, 5.2 kg
Medium: Textile; gold thread
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Quilted picture
Object No: 00030067

User Terms

    This framed and glazed quilted picture depicts an American barque sailing into port, entitled 'Salem's Ships Sailed to the Farthest Port of the Rich East'.
    SignificanceThis wool work is likely to be a keepsake made by one of the common sailors onboard a China Trade vessel from Salem. Many of the luxury goods that were brought back have made their way into museum collections.
    HistoryBy 1790, Salem, Massachusetts had developed as the primary port from which vessels sailed to the East in the China Trade. It was also the sixth largest city in America at the time, importing and exporting products to and from Europe, the West Indies, Sumatra and China. Ships from Salem also visited Australia, Russia, Japan and Africa. The captains of Salem had a long tradition of bringing back mementos of their voyages. However the 19th Century saw the decline of shipping and the influence of Salem became increasingly overshadowed by New York and Boston.

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