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Clipper ship RACER

Date: c 1855
Dimensions:
Overall: 659 x 893 mm, 4.7 kg
Medium: Watercolour ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00006243

User Terms

    Description
    This hand coloured lithograph was made after the painting by J E Buttersworth. It depicts the port side of the clipper ship RACER sailing with three sails furled in rough seas. The ship is flying an American flag on its stern and an unidentified flag with a white and red cross on its main mast. The RACER was built by Currier & Townsend and involved in freight and passenger transport to Australia.
    SignificanceThis lithograph highlights the production of ship portraits in the mid-19th century. It is indicative of maritime traffic in Australia during the gold rush, a period of expanding global wealth.
    HistoryThe era of the clipper ships was dominated by a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. The sleek and graceful ships were a symbol of modernity in America and a fundamental part of the expanding global economy. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity, which was a great benefit to shipping companies eager to transport goods quickly. Often ship owners or Captains would commission portraits to commemorate their vessels.

    The RACER was a 1700 ton ship built by Currier & Townsend at Newburyport, Massachusetts. It was the first and largest ship to be built specifically for the trade route between New York and Liverpool for the St George Line. It was fitted out with passenger accommodation and cargo space in the hold for freight.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: CLIPPER SHIP RACER

    Web title: Clipper ship RACER

    Related People
    Lithographer: Nathaniel Currier

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