This portrait of ST. ANDREW in two positions, with its inscription, commemorates a fast passage of 20 days from Quebec to Liverpool- when the newly launched bark was on its delivery passage from Canada to its new home port at Liverpool.
The central image depicts the single-decked bark's windward profile as the vessel makes to weather. Jibs and staysails are full and all squares braced hard on starboard tack except for the royals, which are drawn up loosely in their clewlines. The starboard clew on the main course has been slacked and the sail is luffing. Full on the mizzen are the spanker/driver and mizzen gaff-topsail.
The castellated tower of the lighthouse at Point Lynas, located on Anglesey's eastern most promontory, is shown off ST. ANDREW's bow, locating the ship heading Northward in the Irish Channel bound for Liverpool. A detail showing a flock of seabirds is visible in the distance just below the vessel's dolphin striker.
The ship wears the British ensign at the mizzen gaff peak with a triangular, vertically striped red and white Commercial Code answering pennant beneath it. The four flag hoist at the mizzen topmast correctly displays the ship's commercial code signal which is read 'K,W,D,F', coinciding with her official designation Number 64577. The white house flag of Hall and Fairweather bearing the red monogram 'H&F' is at the cap of the main topmast and the British Pilot Jack flies from the fore-topmast, requesting a pilot.
An unidentified cutter of the Mersey Pilotage Service, flying a red and white 'in service' pennant, is converging on ST. ANDREW's course to put a pilot on board. This vessel is likely to be either #4-AUSPICIOUS or #11-MERSEY, both of which were cutters employed by the Pilotage service at this time. The pilot, accompanied by two oarsmen, is shown already in the punt trailing astern of the cutter, preparing to cross over and board the in-coming bark.
To the right in the painting is a second view of ST. ANDREW running off the wind. This smaller view is from the ship's starboard quarter and shows the vessel on port tack. In this view, ST. ANDREW is again identified by the four flag commercial code hoist on the mizzen-mast.
Given Quebec's location somewhat inland, up the St. Lawrence River from the Atlantic Ocean, 20 days was particularly fast. That was a more common time for travel between Liverpool and New York or Boston, both easier ports to enter.
By comparison, the famous, hard driven Medium Clipper DREADNOUGHT, sailing as a Red Cross Line packet under Captain Samuel Samuels, averaged 19 days on the 20 passages she made from New York to Liverpool for which records are available. Seven of these passages were of 20 days or over (Howe & Mathews; 'American Clipper Ships', Vol.I p.140) .
Between 1872 and 1890 ST. ANDREW sailed mainly in the Atlantic Trade and also made voyages to Sydney, Australia and Valparaiso, Chile. The vessel was managed out of Liverpool by Lamport and Holt and out of St. John, at least through 1883, by Hall and Fairweather. In 1891 the bark ST. ANDREW was closed from British Registry in London and sold to Russian interests.
Based on research done by the Kelton Foundation, comparing it to other Yorke paintings in their collections, they believed this was possibly the last painting Yorke created in Liverpool before his immigration to America.
The photos of the writing at the bottom of the painting and the close up of the signature have been edited to better show the letters online.
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