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CUTTY SARK

Date: 1878
Dimensions:
Overall: 162 x 202 mm, 0.003 kg
Medium: Pencil, watercolour and paint on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Josef Lebovic
Classification:Art
Object Name: Drawing
Object No: 00029646

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    Description
    This notebook paper has illustrations of the CUTTY SARK on the back and front sides. One view depicts the clipper ship's grey hull, brown bowsprit and figurehead. The second shows the vessel from its stern. The artist Francis Prout was actively painting in Sydney from 1872 and would have completed this work by the age 16.
    SignificanceThis sketch is representative of the important British clipper ship CUTTY SARK and its role in the Australian wool trade during the late 19th century.
    HistoryThe era of the clipper ships was dominated by a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. These sleek and graceful ships were a symbol of American modernity and fundamental to the expanding global economy. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity and was a great benefit to shipping companies eager to transport goods quickly.

    The CUTTY SARK is the last surviving and most famous British tea clipper. It was launched in 1869 at Dumbarton on the River Clyde, Scotland and received its name from a Robert Burns' poem, Tam O'Shanter. In the poem Tam meets Nannie, a young and beautiful witch who is only wearing a 'cutty sark' (short chemise). The ship's figurehead is carved as a likeness of Nannie.

    The CUTTY SARK's sleek lines and enormous sails made it the fastest sailing ship in the tea trade with China. Unfortunately the Suez Canal (which sailing ships could not navigate) was opened the same year that the CUTTY SARK was launched. The ship's last tea cargo was carried in 1877. Between 1885 and 1895 it was used in the Australian wool trade, bringing the new season wool from Sydney to London and setting top speed records each year. The CUTTY SARK is located in a dry dock at Greenwich, England. It was extensively damaged by fire in 2008.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: CUTTY SARK

    Primary title: CUTTY SARK

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