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Lai Fong of Calcutta (Chinese fl. 1890-1910)
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Lai Fong of Calcutta (Chinese fl. 1890-1910)

The four masted sailing ship County of Peebles in rough seas

Details
Lai Fong of Calcutta (Chinese fl. 1890-1910)
The four masted sailing ship County of Peebles in rough seas
signed and dated 'Lai Fong./Calcutta/1900' (lower right)
oil on canvas
10 x 16 in. (25.4 x 40.6 cm.)

Lot Essay

Lai Fong, a painter active between 1890 and 1910, emigrated from Hong Kong to Calcutta where he became a leading pier head painter. As a result of his position, Fong became renowned for the large number of ship portraits he produced during his career. Fong rarely featured coastal landscapes in his work preferring to render the ships on their ocean bound leg.
The County of Peebles, a four masted iron ship, was built in 1875 by Barclay, Cule & Co., in Glasgow. Her dimensions were 266'6" x 38'7" x 23'4" with a tonnage of 1691 GRT. She was rigged with royal sails above double top and single topgalant sails. The total sail area was 306010 square feet. She was launched in July 1875 from the shipyard of Barclay, Curle & Co., for R & J Craig, Glasgow. Her first master was Captain A. Miller.
Throughout the 1880's and 1890's the County of Peebles sailed between Scotland, England and India on a variety of shipping routes. In 1887 the title of ships master was transffered to Captain J. Murdoch. In 1898 she was sold to the Chilean navy and ranamed Munoz Gamero.
Shortly after the sale, the County of Peebles was beached for use as a dock and breakwater in Punta Arenas. The vessel has no been restored with the lower masts and deck remaining while the interior has been preserved by the Chilean navy for use as an entertainment area.
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