NOTE: Sold AS-IS, Condition: significant inpaint around the border of the work, ship untouched. Restoration well done. Closing Sale price is $3,700 not including crate, pack and ship
One of three late 19th-Century steel-hulled barques built directly for the shipping company of Lang & Fulton of Greenock, Scotland, the EAST AFRICAN was a familiar sight in both Liverpool and Melbourne, alongside her near-identical older sister, EAST INDIAN, and their larger, younger brother ship, AUSTRALIAN.
The 252'5" L x 39'B x 22'5"D vessel was built in 1895 by the Robert Duncan & Co. Shipyard of Liverpool. Duncan is renown as one of the premier engineers of his time, and had already made several innovations in locomotive and agricultural mechanization before acquiring his marine boiler shop in 1880, and by 1882 his ship-building firm employed more than 450 men. Jacobsen has portrayed the ship in her early beauty, white-hulled with a peek of Greenock Red of her lower hull in view, matching the waterline. She is full-sailed, with six courses on the fore-and -main, rigged expertly.
The Liverpool-to-Australia Trade route was one of the last hurrahs for the sailing trades, carrying British goods and passengers and bringing back primarily loads of wool, along with items from countries throughout the Orient. Many ships were manned by crews less numerous than had plied the seas on the Clipper trade routes. A knowledge of mechanics became standard fare alongside seamanship and navigation. EAST AFRICAN was built to carry a large cargo, yet made remarkably competent sailing times year in and out. EAST AFRICAN would continue on service, selling to Norwegian interests in 1911, still afloat when the World War I broke out.
A sketch of the ship by Jacobsen is in the Collection of the Mariner's Museum of Newport News, Virginia.
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