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SS TAMAR

Date: 1870-1882
Dimensions:
Overall: 905 x 1105 x 70 mm, 6.7 kg
Sight: 690 x 900 x 22 mm
Medium: Oil on canvas in gilt frame.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00016812
Place Manufactured:Australia

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    Description
    Oil painting by an unknown artist, late 19th century, of the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Company's auxiliary steamer TAMAR, at sea. The ship is sailing with steam assisted by sail set on the foremast. It wears the TSN Company's houseflag on the mainmast. The TAMAR served on the Launceston to Melbourne cargo-passenger route from 1869 to 1882.

    SignificanceThe painting represents Australian ship portraiture and is an accomplished work displaying the unknown artist's technical knowledge. It also records the coastal and Bass Strait trade between Victoria and Tasmania in the late nineteenth century.


    HistoryThe TAMAR was built in 1869 by Blackwood and Gordon in Scotland for the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Company which ordered the steamer expressly for the Launceston-Melbourne trade. It was 453 gross tons and 185 feet (56.4 metres) long, and was known as a splendid sea-boat with excellent accommodation, and for many years was a favourite vessel in the trade. In 1882 it was sold for use in the Newcastle coal trade, and was hulked in 1911, ending its days on as a hulk on Sydney Harbour.

    The Tasmanian Steam Navigation Company was formed in 1853 and operated very sucessfully on regular services across Bass Strait until the 1880s when competition from other companies began to rival it. In 1891 the TSN Company was bought out by the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand.

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