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SIERRA NEVADA - Coleman's California Line for San Francisco

Date: 1861
Overall: 104 x 163 mm
Medium: Engraving on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Clipper card
Object No: 00008631

User Terms

    This card is an advertisement for the clipper ship SIERRA NEVADA's passage from New York to Melbourne via Hong Kong. It was operating under the Coleman's California shipping Line. It consists of a wood-cut coloured illustration on white enamel card depicting an Indian riding on horseback and brandishing a spear.
    SignificanceClipper ship cards of the 19th century rarely survive as they were often discarded after the ships voyage was completed. This card illustrates maritime trade and commerce in Australian during the mid-19th century.
    HistoryClipper ship cards were one of the advertising methods used by ship owners to promote their vessels and transport schedules. In colourful print and bold designs they publicised the supposedly superior qualities of each vessel, often using images of maritime scenes, mythology, patriotism and women to promote their cause. The cards were largely manufactured during the late-19th century and were designed to be handed out at the docks. They were brighter and more appealing than the newspaper advertisements of the time but often used similar wording. They could be printed in up to seven different colours including blue, red, green white, black, brown, and yellow. Some printers also used gold, bronze and purple.

    The majority of clipper cards were produced when the popularity of the clipper ship was dwindling and merchants were opting for faster steam powered vessels. Clipper ships were largely active between 1845 and 1875. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity, which was a great benefit for shipping companies eager to transport goods quickly. The sleek and graceful ships generated a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. They were a symbol of American modernity and fundamental to the expanding global economy.

    The SIERRA NEVADA was sold to McKay and Baines in 1863 before being sold on to the Black Ball Line and renamed ROYAL DANE. The three decked ship was active on the trade route between Liverpool and Australia transporting freight.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: SIERRA NEVADA - Coleman's California Line for San Francisco

    Web title: SIERRA NEVADA

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