• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1963

    Maritime Art Including Fine Paintings, Nautical Antiques, Scrimshaw And Ship Models

    30 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 278

    William Howard Yorke (British, 1847-1921)

    The American medium clipper Beverly overhauling another three-master at sea

    Price Realised  

    William Howard Yorke (British, 1847-1921)
    The American medium clipper Beverly overhauling another three-master at sea
    signed and dated 'Wm Yorke Lpool Sept. 1862 (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    26 x 36 in. (66 x 91.4 cm.)
    painted in 1864


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    The Beverly was designed and built by Paul Curtis at Medford, Massachusetts, and launched on 19th April 1852. Owned by Whitney & Perkins of Boston and registered at 676 tons, her maiden voyage took her around the world, via Shanghai and San Francisco, finally docking in New York in April 1854 after a 100-day dash from Shanghai. In 1856 she ran home to Boston from Calcutta in a remarkable 83 days whilst the following year she did the same journey, albeit in reverse, in a startling 85 days, 16= hours, leaving Boston on 30th August 1857 and arriving off Calcutta on 23rd November, the fastest time ever recorded on that route. Frequently sailing around Cape Horn bound for San Francisco, her average passage time on that hazardous journey was 144 days and she soon gained a reputation for performing well on every route she ever sailed.
    In fact, she was so fast that when she was chased by the notorious Confederate raider Florida during the Civil War in 1864, she outran her pursuer and escaped safely into the approaching dusk, a feat which few other northern merchantmen were able to emulate. Reportedly sold soon afterwards, she was renamed Alexander and then Argonaut in quick succession. Eventually acquired by W.F. Weld & Co. of Boston in February 1868, she was finally sold to L.E. Baker, of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, in 1872 and disappeared out of registry two years later.

    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A CORPORATE COLLECTION