Built at Peterhead in 1819 for a small consortium of owners including Captain Horril, her first master, the wooden brig Commerce was registered in London at 248 tons and commenced her career trading out of the Thames to Gibraltar. Voyaging further afield, to New Orleans, in 1824, Captain Horril left her in 1825 thus dating this painting to the six-year period during which he was in command. Apart from its innate charm however, the picture is of some wider importance within the oeuvre of Miles Walters' work since it not only appears to be one of his earliest surviving compositions - even if its date is as late as Captain Horril's retirement in 1825 - but it also provides some additional biographical detail concerning the elder Walters about whom so little is known. The source of this information is the possibly unique trade label on the reverse of the picture which states, with some conviction, that "the Artist in his youthful days worked in a Mold Loft and has been thirteen years at Sea and has painted upwards of two hundred ships in the past Six Years and sent them to all corners of the World". Also noteworthy is the artist's unfailingly accurate representation of the signal flags identifying Commerce's ship number (shown in the stern view) according to Captain Marryat's Code designed for the Merchant Service in 1817, yet further indication of that care and attention which characterises all the Walters' output, both father and son.