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William Howard Yorke

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 William Howard Yorke
British, (1847-1921)


Oil on Canvas  Dated 1885 
20 x 30 Inches  25 x 35 Inches Framed 
Signed LR: W.H. Yorke 1885 

A speedy merchant iron sailing ship comes home to the United Kingdom, and Liverpool port painter William Howard Yorke was there to capture the visual impact of MAJESTIC as she sails in off the ocean and eventually toward Great Orme Head, the Mersey River and Liverpool proper. The setting is perfectly done in the best manner of the Liverpool School of ship portraiture, with a luminescent sky holding the warm center and darker clouds and deep green sea framing the outer reaches of sky and sea. Sharp defined details of the ship and the crisp coloration make this a special effort by the younger Yorke.

The ship, build in 1875 by Harland & Wolff for owners T.& J. Brocklebank of Liverpool, was an active participant in the last quarter of the 19TH Century sailing trades, at 1,884 tons and 273 length. Well after the establishment of steam power, MAJESTIC was employed in the more distant merchant sailing trade to India, Australia and reaches in the Southern Hemisphere, and sold to the Chilean Government in 1899. Her black waterline barely peeks from the ocean, indicating that she is heavily loaded. Most likely cargoes at this point would be American lumber, or bundles of Australian and New Zealand wool. The crew is visible and very active at stowing sails and reducing her speed to come about and proceed to the headland. Her name is clear on her bow and her Union Jack proudly displayed.

Provenance: Ritz Carlton Hotel, Laguna Niguel.

Please click here for a short William Howard Yorke biography.

For more information about Yorke's "Ship MAJESTIC ", please send us an email at

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