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S.R. BEARSE

Date: 1873 - 1897
Dimensions:
Overall: 710 x 925 x 49 mm, 4.6 kg
Medium: Oil on canvas, gilt frame
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00005647
Related Place:Hong Kong,

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    Description
    European, American and Australian ships used Hong Kong as a centre of trade in the 19th century. This painting depicts the American vessel S.R. BEARSE as it enters Hong Kong Harbour with fully rigged sails. S.R. BEARSE is flying a house flag that features a red capital 'M' on a white background with a three-sided blue border. The ship portrait is one of a large number of paintings produced by Chinese trade artists in the style of western artists.
    SignificanceThis painting is representative of the prolific number of 19th century ship portraits produced by Chinese artists. It also demonstrates the importance of Hong Kong as a port of foreign trade in the 1800s.
    HistoryIn the 1800s Chinese goods including opium, tea, domestic furniture, porcelain and silver ware were traded in China and brought back to Europe, America and Australia. Ships captains and owners commissioned hundreds of ship portraits to Chinese trade artists for the purpose of commemorating a particular ship or wreck. The artists rarely signed their works and often depicted the ships sailing in formulaic views.

    The S.R.BEARSE was a 607 ton bark built at Yarmouth Maine in 1873 by Giles Loring. It was named after Samuel Randall Bearse, a lumber merchant active in the mid 19th century. S.R.BEARSE was chartered by Henry W Peabody & Co during the 1880s and transported cargo packets between Boston and Australia. The ship was abandoned in 1897 after grounding on a coral reef in Bermuda on its way to Boston with a load of salt.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The bark SR BEARSE

    Web title: S.R. BEARSE

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