Reaching under full sail, including a jib-headed "kicker" topsail on the Jigger mast, the white-hulled barkentine THOMAS P. EMIGH is depicted approaching what appears to be the headland near Byron's Bay, Australia. The EMIGH engaged primarily in the Pacific lumber trade and Byron's Bay was one of Australia's foremost timber ports. Byron Point lighthouse, which marks the easternmost point on the Australian continent, is visible on its promontory high in the mist in the far distance. A tug, a steamer and a schooner are shown off the harbor entrance, under the EMIGH's bowsprit.
Launched at Tacoma in 1902, the 1040 ton THOS P. EMIGH was owned and operated by the Charles Nelson Shipping Company of Oakland whose house flag is shown at the truck of the mainmast. Her correct signal letters K.R.L.Q. are displayed beneath the American ensign at the top of the Jigger mast. At 211.6'L x 42.4'B x 16.4'D, the EMIGH was the largest vessel built by the legendary Northern California shipbuilder Thomas Petersen.
William Edgar ship portraits are stunning in their realism and attention to nautical detail. His realistic seas capture the offshore blues and greens found only in deep offshore waters and his skies are abundant with nautical atmosphere. This portrait of the THOMAS P. EMIGH shows her sailing with every sail in the inventory full and drawing, parting the waves with a prominent "bone in her teeth."
The painting is accompanied by photos of the ship launching and on deck scenes of the captain and his family as well as a letter from the captain to his wife. These items were handed down through the family of the ship's part owner and master, M.A. Ipsen.
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