W.F. Preston may well have produced his finest painting on this very canvas. The ocean-going tug BLAZER meets up with one of the last of the true sailing merchant ships, most likely working in the trade amongst the Colonial British Empire in the Southern Hemisphere and back to the United Kingdom. Although the headland is too distant to come into view, there is mention of a Liverpool steam pilot tug by the name of BLAZER in the work of author Tom Cunliffe’s volumes of work on these important but often ignored vessels.
The merchant ship is a full-bodied carrier, and is obviously heavy with cargo in her holds, for the waterline to be level and deep. A bark makes her way on the coastal horizon while the crew of the tug prepares to lead their charge to the safety of the harbor, a berth and son enough a payday and tavern for the hearty sailors who would spends months, if not years, at sea on such voyages before making their home port. This is a wonderfully composed scene of such a homecoming, and visually significant as well as artistic.
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