• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7489

    Important Maritime Art

    31 October 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 92

    Montague Dawson, R.S.M.A., F.R.S.A. (1895-1973)

    The Yankee packet Dreadnought

    Price Realised  


    Montague Dawson, R.S.M.A., F.R.S.A. (1895-1973)
    The Yankee packet Dreadnought
    signed 'Montague Dawson' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    28 x 42 in. (71.2 x 106.7 cm.)

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    Although stated to be a medium clipper Dreadnought's lines bore more resemblance to those of a contemporary packet than an ocean thoroughbred. Built by Carrier & Townsend at Newburyport, Massachusetts, she was launched on 6th October 1853 and was ready for sea the following month. Her owners, the Red Cross Line, had ordered her for their New York to Liverpool service and, having chosen Captain Samuels as her master, they asked him to superintend her construction. The result was a fast and reliable ship that became known as "the wild boat of the Atlantic", a reputation also helped by Samuels' superb seamanship and his determination to drive her with maximum sail whatever the weather. Curiously she broke no records but she maintained her Atlantic schedules with greater regularity than any other sailing packet then afloat. Between December 1853 and February 1864 she completed thirty-one round trips for the Red Cross Line. Captain Samuels remaining in command for all but the last voyage. In the summer of 1864, Dreadnought was sold and put on to the New York to San Francisco run where she remained for several years. On 28th April 1869, she sailed from Liverpool again, bound for San Francisco, but was wrecked on the island of Tierra del Fuego just prior to rounding Cape Horn. All of Dreadnought's officers and crew were saved but the ship herself was a total loss and cost her underwriters $83,000.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    L.G.G. Ramsey, Montague Dawson, R.S.M.A., F.R.S.A., Leigh-on-Sea, 2nd edition, 1970, p. 30, no. 85, pl. 24.