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SS GOSFORD

Date: c 1900
Dimensions:
442 x 545 mm
Medium: Oil paint, board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00000053

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    Description
    This oil painting of the steamer SS GOSFORD (built in 1886) shows a headland in the background - possibly South Head in Sydney Harbour - and the sails of another vessel on the horizon. GOSFORD was a steamer that ran a service between Sydney and Brisbane Waters on the NSW Central Coast until the early 1900s. The painting is signed by A Dufty but attributed to George Frederick Gregory junior (1857-1913).
    SignificanceThis painting shows an Australian designed and built passenger steamer from the 1880s. There were many ship builders in Sydney and along the NSW coast forming a sizable industry, and a significant proportion of colonial vessels were built locally.


    HistorySS GOSFORD was built in 1886 by James Pashley at Balmain, Sydney. It was designed by renowned naval architect Walter Reeks, who left England and settled in Sydney in 1885. GOSFORD is an early example of his designs, and in this initial period it is understood he mainly designed yachts, therefore this is one of his earliest commercial vessel designs. Reeks often introduced unorthodox features into his designs, and according to a report from The Sydney Morning Herald on 25 December 1886 the vessel had '...somewhat novel lines..."

    The original owners were Henry Stanley Jeanneret and Captain John Pinto. GOSFORD was built to provide a regular, fast passenger and local goods service between Sydney and Brisbane water to support the growing Central Coast community to the north of the city. The vessel had its maiden voyage on 24th December 1886. On the morning it did a trial run to Curl Curl, a short distance north of Sydney. In the afternoon it then steamed to Gosford and return with a full compliment of passengers, taking just under three hours for each passage. An advertisement in 1887 shows it ran a daily service in conjunction with the GENISTA on weekdays and excursions on the weekends.

    In 1889 GOSFORD was sold to Frederick Charles Evans, and other members of the Evans family were shareholders. In May 1894 GOSFORD was purchased by Ebenezer Faddingham, John Clayton and Mungo Brown. In 1895 Peter Callen of Stockton, Newcastle purchased the ship and in 1906 GOSFORD was sold to Robert Lamb of Auckland, New Zealand.

    The painting is signed by Alfred William Dufty (1856-1924). He conducted a photographic studio and shop from 1906 to 1924, describing himself as 'Alfred W. Dufty, Marine & Landscape Photographer, Erskine St. Sydney.' He sold paintings, photographs, postcards and maritime souvenirs and curios. He is closely associated with ship portraiture in the transition between painting and photography. Some works were a combination of painting and photography and were counter-signed by Dufty and the artist whose work he sold. His name appears on countless postcards, many of which are reproductions of paintings by artists whose work he sold. A number of ship portrait painters were associated with him, such as A V Gregory, R A Borstel, William Edgar, and G Edwards.

    Despite Dufty's signature, the painting is attributed to George Frederick Gregory junior (1857-1913) who was the first of three sons of marine artist George Frederick Gregory (1815-1887). George Frederick junior was born in Melbourne and along with one of his brothers Arthur Victor (1867-1957) learned painting skills from their father to become prominent marine artists in their own right.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: SS GOSFORD

    Web title: SS GOSFORD

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