Search the Collection
Advanced Search

The RED JACKET in Hobson's Bay

Date: 1856 - 1857
Overall (Including frame): 1256 x 1862 x 110 mm
Sight (Visible image): 918 x 1525 mm
Medium: Oil on canvas, glazed, in gilt frame
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00006060
Related Place:Hobsons Bay,

User Terms

    An oil painting on canvas by Australian artist Captain Thomas Robertson titled 'The RED JACKET in Hobson's Bay' (Victoria).
    Clipper ships were the backbone of maritime trade in the 19th century. This painting depicts three American vessels, the LIGHTNING, JAMES BAINES and RED JACKET in Hobson's Bay, with a view of Port Melbourne in the background. Rivalry between the shipping companies who owned RED JACKET and LIGHTNING was fierce, with large sums of money being waged on which vessel was the fastest.

    SignificanceThis is a particularly beautiful depiction of three famous clipper ships, all known to have set time records on their journeys and been involved with trade in Australia. It indicates the high maritime traffic in Australia and competition between shipping lines generated by 19th century trade and economics.
    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 modern America and a fundamental part of 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 LIGTHNING and the JAMES BAINES were both made by the renowned ship builder Donald McKay around 1854 and both successfully set records for the quickest time taken to make a sea crossing. The JAMES BAINES sailed the transatlantic route between Boston and Liverpool in a record time of twelve days and six hours. The LIGHTNING set the all-time record for a single day’s sail, covering 436 nautical miles in a twenty-four hour period.

    The RED JACKET was a 2460 ton ship built in 1853 by George Thomas and became famous after its groundbreaking maiden voyage from New York to Liverpool, which was completed in thirteen days, one hour and twenty-five minutes.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The RED JACKET in Hobson's Bay

    Assigned title: TEE TUCH - Die Rote Jacke im Hobson's Bay

    Assigned title: THEEDOEK - Het Rode Jasje in Hobson's Bay

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.