Although the paddle steamer is not named in this painting, it may be identified with certainty on comparison with the illustration from a U.S. Navy source, on page 72 in Ethel S. Nepeux's book "George Alfred Trenholm" published in Charleston, 1973.
There is also a 'carte de visite' contemporary photograph of the original Samuel Walters painting in the collection of the Liverpool Central Library. One of a series of photographic reproductions of his original paintings published by Walters, the title is simply 'Blockade Runner'.
Entering service in October 1864, the steamer ran the blockade successfully without ever being caught. On the cessation of hostilities she was the first of the few Confederate ships to return to the River Mersey.
As most of the British-built blockade runners of the Southern Confederate States were ordered by or through the Confederacy's Liverpool Agent Charles Prioleau (also see lot 197), it was natural that at least some of them should be painted by the notable Liverpool artist Samuel Walters. His finest work in this group is the paddle-steamer Let Her Rip (a.k.a. Wando) but Walters is also known to have painted two unnamed blockade runners, both schooner-rigged side-wheelers, the pictures of which were intended solely for photographic reproduction. As the description of one of these two unnamed pictures clearly matches the work offered in this catalogue, it is possible that it could be that composition although this is not confirmed.
We are grateful for A.S. Davidson's assistance in cataloguing this lot
Colonel Lamb was a 1788-ton side-wheel steamer, was built at Liverpool, England, in 1864 for employment running the Federal blockade of the Confederate coast. She successfully ran into the port of Wilmington, North Carolina, in late November 1864 and escaped back to sea the next month. In January 1865, with east coast blockade running at an end, she went to the Gulf of Mexico but was found unsuitable for operation into Galveston, Texas, and returned to England a few months later. Reportedly sold to Greek interests and renamed Bouboulina, she was destroyed in an explosion while loading munitions at Liverpool in 1866 or 1867.