A grand liner of the Liverpool-to-New York route arrives in the American port in this fine promotional original of 1895. We believe that this work is likely by Frederick Pansing, with earmarks of his style such as the three-quarter foreshortened view of the main ship with people watching the subject from the foreground, in this case onboard the large yet diminished ferry. Pansing was often employed by passenger lines through his work with the American lithographic company of New York.
Majestic, and her identical sister Teutonic, were built by Harland & Wolff of Belfast for the line. They were the first ships employed by white star without spars, and they were their only ships until 1899 which had two funnels and three masts. Majestic was delivered in 1890 and set a westbound record the next year of 5 days 18 hours and 8 minutes, averaging 20.1 knots. The sister ships would be the last white star liners to earn the coveted blue riband, Teutonic doing so in 1890 and, after Majestic, again in 1891.
With an expanse of open water between the passenger ship and the spires of the New York headland, a blue British ensign is visible at the stern flagstaff of another single funneled steamer, identical to the royal naval reserve ensign flown on Majestic. Majestic was designed by A.H. Carlisle to be quickly converted into an armed merchant cruiser. This entitled her to wear the reserve ensign and obligated her to serve as a transport in the Boer War in 1899. Here she illustrates the emerging luxury of the Trans-Atlantic passenger service, as an original study for a promotional poster.
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