Ordered by the South American Steamship Company, the steel screw steamer Tucapel was built on the Clyde by J. Reid & Co. at Glasgow and launched in 1900. Registered in Valparaiso under Chilean colours, she was measured at 3,061 tons gross (1,917 net) and was 381 feet in length with a 44 foot beam. Designed with two accommodation decks, she also boasted both a shade deck and a promenade deck for her passengers and was viewed as one of the finest steamers on the Valparaiso to Panama route when she entered service in the autumn of 1900 under Captain Moffit. Capable of steaming at 12 knots, she proved extremely popular and gave eleven years of reliable service until, on 4th September 1911, she was wrecked at Camana Beach, near Mollendo, close to the Chilean-Peruvian border; her master Captain Collins and about thirty others were lost but the majority of the passengers and crew were saved.
The fact that this work is dated 1911, the year she was lost, suggests it was probably a commemorative work executed after she was wrecked.