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Untitled (The WANDERER shortening sail entering Sydney Heads)

Date: c 1842
Overall: 550 x 745 mm, 3.3 kg
Medium: Watercolour, pencil, gouache
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00006848
Related Place:Sydney Heads,

User Terms

    This portrait depicts the topsail schooner the WANDERER shortening its sails as it enters Sydney Heads. The crew on board can be seen preparing to furl the fore-sail. This lavishly fitted out yacht was frequently seen sailing on Sydney Harbour and Twofold Bay in the 1840s. It was owned by Benjamin Boyd, an entrepreneur involved in pastoral and commercial activities in the early colony of New South Wales.

    SignificanceThis painting represents Ben Boyd's vessel the WANDERER a popular and prominent vessel in 19th century commerce in Australia.
    HistoryThe WANDERER was a schooner and a unit of the Royal Yacht Squadron. It arrived in Australia in 1842 and made many trips along the Australian coastline with its Scottish owner Benjamin Boyd, as he established settlements and pastoral stations between Eden and Sydney. The vessel was a regular sight in Sydney Harbour, its expensive interiors and opulence made it a popular attraction with fashionable society.

    By 1849, Boyd was in great financial difficulty and preparing to leave the colony. With the WANDERER he left Australian shores and headed to the Californian gold fields to seek his fortune, only to be unsuccessful again. In 1851, Boyd was presumed murdered by natives on the Solomon Islands and the WANDERER wrecked off Port Macquarie on its return to Australia.

    Ship portraits were often commissioned by ship owners or Captains to record a particular maritime event or commemorate a vessel. The WANDERER features in many Australian maritime and ship portraits during the 19th century.
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