• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5386

    Maritime

    21 May 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 105

    Michael James Whitehand, 20th/21st Century

    The Walmer Castle in company with the tea clipper Queensbury

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Michael James Whitehand, 20th/21st Century
    The Walmer Castle in company with the tea clipper Queensbury
    signed 'M.J. Whitehand' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    40 x 50 in. (101.7 x 127 cm.)


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    Walmer Castle was built in Pile's yard on the Wear at Sunderland and launched in 1855. Owned by the famous firm of R. & H. Green for their Indian trade fleet, she was registered at 1,064 tons and measured 193 feet in length with a 35 foot beam. Like all Pile's ships, she had a frigate-like appearance reminiscent of an earlier age and was renowned for her speed and grace despite her considerable cargo capacity. Consistently rated A1 by Lloyd's surveyors, she gave her owners twenty years of excellent service until 1876 when she caught fire and was destroyed on Christmas Day whilst loading freight at Samarang on the island of Java.

    The Queensberry was a year younger than Walmer Castle and was launched from Nicholson's yard at Annan, Dumfriesshire, in 1856. Owned by her builders but managed by their cousins Nicholson & Gill in Liverpool, Queensberry was registered at 635 tons and measured 207 feet in length with a particularly narrow 29 foot beam. A beautiful vessel, judging by Samuel Walters' lithographic portrait of her, she was judged to have a good turn of speed and reached Hong Kong in 97 days out of Liverpool on her maiden voyage in 1857. Sold to Arnold de Beer Baruchson of Liverpool in 1863 and subsequently to Hargrove, Ferguson of the same port in 1869, she changed hands for the last time in 1874 when she was bought by J. Dawson of Queenstown. Three years later, on 13th October 1877, she stranded on the island of Palawan in the China Sea and was declared a total loss.

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