Liverpool’s importance as a maritime center of Western Europe shows through in this rare early portrait by Miles Walters of the merchant ship GIPSEY entering the Mersey. He completes the marine atmosphere with depictions of early steam paddle wheelers, a multitude of sailing yachts and an exceptional three-masted seacombe ferry boat, BANG-UP, with her advertisement on her sail.
The focal point, a port-side view of the GIPSEY, details the grace of her 112.6 foot length. With a 28.2 foot beam and 19.1 foot depth of hold, she was a large vessel for her day. Built in 1826 for John Tobin of Liverpool by Mottershead & Hayes, she primarily ran trade routes from England to India for more than 22 years.
Walters trademarks reside throughout this work. His intricate detail quality shows not just in GIPSEY’s three views, but throughout the busy harbor, the buildings onshore and the distant view of Perch Rock Fort off the coast at right. GIPSEY’s flags, from her decoded numeric Liverpool code at the foremast, her name pendant on the main, the yellow and blue Isle of Man standard from the mizzen, likely belonging to GIPSEY’s Captain Quirk, and the early 19th century ensign aft, are completely accurate.
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