Lai Sung 
NATHANIEL B. PALMER Off the Chinese Coast
⚈ Sold
Chinese (fl.1850-1888)

Oil on Canvas Circa 1860
17 3/8 x 23 inches 24 ¾ x 30 3/8 inches Framed
Attributed to Lai Sung  
   

Lai Sung 
 
Chinese (fl.1850-1888)
 
NATHANIEL B. PALMER Off the Chinese Coast
⚈ Sold

Oil on Canvas Circa 1860
17 3/8 x 23 inches 24 ¾ x 30 3/8 inches Framed
Attributed to Lai Sung  
   

This portrait of the famed extreme clipper N.B. Palmer is unique in that it was painted by the Chinese artist from life, while the ship was in China on a trade voyage. The painting is well done, crisp and detailed both on the ship and in the various boats which sit off her bow and stern. The hills of Hong Kong sit off her bow. This came to us from a very important collection of China Trade paintings.

The extreme clipper N.B. PALMER was launched February 9, 1851, by Westerveldt & MacKay, at New York, for account of A.A. Low & Brother of that city. She was one of the most famous of the American clipper fleet. The N.B. PALMER was 202’ x 38’6” x 21’9”; 1399 tons, old measurement; 1124 tons new measurement. She proved to be one of the fastest sailing vessels ever built and was an excellent sea boat, especially in heavy weather. Her first captain was Charles Porter Low who commanded PALMER for most of her career. The Low Company house flag sits at the masthead in this painting with the initials N.B.P.

New York Yacht Club member Nathaniel Brown Palmer designed the N.B. Palmer. “Captain Nat,” who joined the club in 1845, began his career at sea at the age of fourteen aboard a blockade runner in the War of 1812. By the time he was twenty-one years old he commanded sailing vessels out of Stonington, Connecticut. In 1821, while in command of the HERO, he discovered what is now Palmer Land in Antarctica. Subsequently he both commanded and designed Atlantic packets and China clippers, including the famous ships GARRICK, SIDDONS, HOUQUA, CONTEST and ORIENTAL. In 1854 he retired from A.A. Low & Co., who named their famous clipper in his honor.


Provenance: Richard Kelton Collection