A stalwart American Clipper Ship, N.B. PALMER launched in 1851 out of Jacob Westervelt’s New York yard. Named after the renowned Stonington, Connecticut sea captain and ship designer Nathaniel Brown Palmer, whose exploits include becoming a ship’s captain at 21, and soon after being the first American captain to discover the Antarctic Peninsula. The namesake clipper ship, owned by A.A. Lowe & Brother, sailed for the company for years in the China Trade. The Lowe’s were very successful with their Chinese business dealings, and owned several of earliest American clippers built.
The artist John Stobart is known for being an exacting historian as well as a leading marine artist. Well proportioned with sleek lines, the ship sails over an excellent portrayal of the Pacific Ocean and vast bright sky. Distant ships near the California headland are in view. His precise details reveal more about the 202' large clipper; her Merchant Code flags are up the hoist above the American ensign, and she slices a speedy wake as she cuts across the open water. Stobart painted a superior blend of sunlight and shadows on the sails. In 1858, she set a record of 82 days from Shanghai to New York.
“Captain Nat” as he was informally known, was directly involved in the design of the first American Clipper. One story reports he carved the wood hull model of Low’s Clipper HOUQUA while sailing home from China as captain of the ship PAUL JONES in 1843. The Low’s showed their respect by hiring him as their marine advisor, and later by naming this remarkable vessel after him while he was an active ship owner himself. Stobart honors their shared history with this top-quality artwork.
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