• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7660

    Maritime Art

    29 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 53

    Joseph Heard (1799-1859)

    An outward-bound merchantman passing Anglesey, with a Cunard steamer off her stern and approaching the South Stack lighthouse

    Price Realised  

    Joseph Heard (1799-1859)
    An outward-bound merchantman passing Anglesey, with a Cunard steamer off her stern and approaching the South Stack lighthouse
    signed and dated 'J Heard/1853' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    25¾ x 35½ in. (65.4 x 90.2 cm.)


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    Although Joseph Heard neither inscribed the hull of this merchantman nor painted her recognition flags from which she could have been identified, this intriguing work nevertheless has other attractions, notably the early Cunard steamer shown in-bound for Liverpool and approaching the South Stack lighthouse, off Anglesey. Although this latter vessel cannot be identified with certainty, she appears to be the Africa which, along with her sister Asia, was built by Robert Steele at Greenock in 1850. Widely regarded as the first of the 'second generation' of paddlers on the North Atlantic run, both consumed coal at a prodigious rate in order to maintain their design speed of 12 knots but proved remarkably successful despite their obvious limitations. Africa left Liverpool on her maiden voyage for Boston on 26th October 1850 and embarked on her last sailing on 7th December 1867 which, coincidentally, was also the final departure by a wooden-hulled Cunarder. Withdrawn from service after that voyage, she was sold out of the fleet the following year.

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