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LOCH ETIVE

Date: 1909
Dimensions:
Overall: 440 x 585 mm
Display Dimensions: 582 x 733 x 50 mm
Medium: Oil on canvas, gold frame
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00000643

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    Description
    This oil painting dshows the iron hulled LOCH ETIVE, which was a fully-rigged ship of 1288 tons built in 1877 at Glasgow. For many years it was involved in the Australian wool trade. In 1904 LOCH ETIVE was transformed into a barque, which is the rig depicted in this painting.
    SignificanceThis painting shows a typical sailing cargo vessel from the second half of the 19th century that carried wool from Australia back to Europe, one of the primary exports for the colonies.
    HistoryLOCH ETIVE was a full-rigged ship built by J & A Inglis for the Loch Line which was owned by Aitken, Lilburn & Co, in Glasgow. It was launched in 1877and under the command of Captain William Stuart, its first voyage was to Sydney and it was completed in 76 days. After discharging its cargo it then continued on to Calcutta, India where it loaded jute for the passage back to Britain.

    The Loch Line gained a reputation for being 'unlucky' in the shipping industry when a number of its ships were lost or disappeared without a trace. LOCH ETIVE, however, continued to sail the Britain to Australia route for the next seventeen years under the command of Captain Stuart without incident. It averaged 90 days under sail one way. In September 1894, although ill Captain Stuart set sail from Glasgow to Adelaide, but he passed away five days into the voyage and was buried at sea. From 1895 to 1909 LOCH ETIVE was under the command of Captain Fishwick.

    In 1904 LOCH ETIVE had the mizzen yards removed leaving only the fore and aft sails, which achanged it to a barque. This was done as an economy measure. A barque could operate with a smaller crew and was cheaper to run. The speed was barely affected and it continued to average 90 days. LOCH ETIVE remained on the Britain to Australia route until 1911 when it was sold to a French company for 1350 pounds sterling.

    The artist Reginald Arnold Borstel was born in Sydney, Australia, the son of a master mariner. He originally served as a seaman before becoming one of a group of artists employed by the Adelaide Photo Company of Sydney. He worked from photographs to create oil paintings depicting ships in often stormy seas. Borstel was most active from 1890 to 1917. He was often commissioned by ship captains and owners to record the last days of the great sailing ships. He worked from his studio in Sydney producing ship portraits which appeared on post cards, advertisements and posters. He later moved to Newcastle where he specialised in portraits of sailing vessels.

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