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The “Cutty Sark”

$80.00 Cdn
In stock
Product Details
Size: 20x13 inches
Medium: Limited Edition of 300 Lithographs

During the days of deep-water sail, ocean “greyhounds” sailed from China around Africa and the Cape of Good Hope to England. Often weathering treacherous gales, they constantly challenged each other to be the first ship home, laden with well-stocked chests of tea. One of the famed China tea clippers, Cutty Sark, was launched in Dumbarton, Scotland, in 1869 – the same year that marked the opening of the Suez Canal. While this canal would lessen the time at sea for cargo-carrying steamers and eventually cause the demise of clippers, there were still records to break and rivals to beat. Registering at 963 tons, the Cutty Sark, with a sail area of 32,800 square feet, measured 224 feet in length, with a beam of 36 feet, and a draft of 21 feet. Her Scottish shipowner, John “White Hat” Willis wanted a vessel swift enough to beat the wondrous Thermopylae in the annual tea race. The Cutty Sark made several voyages in the tea trade. Year after year, and with a spirit of reckless daring, she beat the Thermopylae in that same trade. In 1954, she was moved to Greenwich where she was restored to her original condition as a tea clipper. In the painting, the sharp bow of the clipper keeps Cutty Sark slicing cleanly through the water, just as the sun is sinking beneath the horizon.

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