Charles Edward Dixon (British, 1872-1934) The 'Empress of Australia' in Hong Kong harbour 36.5 x 52.
Lot 6*
Charles Edward Dixon (British, 1872-1934) The Canadian Pacific liner “Empress of Australia” in Hong Kong Harbour 36.5 x 52.8cm. (14 3/8 x 20 3/4in.)
Sold for £8,365 (US$ 13,107) inc. premium

Lot Details
Charles Edward Dixon (British, 1872-1934)
The Canadian Pacific liner “Empress of Australia” in Hong Kong Harbour
signed 'Charles Dixon', inscribed 'Hong Kong' and dated 28 (lower left), pen, ink and watercolour heightened with white
36.5 x 52.8cm. (14 3/8 x 20 3/4in.)

Footnotes

  • Originally named “Tirpitz” and built in Stettin for the Hamburg-Amerika Line, this magnificent ship would have been the finest vessel in the South American passenger trade had it not been for the outbreak of the Great War. Launched on 20th December 1913 but still far from finished, it was said that the Kaiser had selected her for a triumphal world cruise once Germany had won the War but this was not to be. With her completion delayed until November 1920, she was handed over to Great Britain as war reparations and, after a brief spell as a troopship, was sold to the Canadian Pacific Line and provisionally named “Empress of China” pending overhaul and conversion to oil fuel.

    After a major refit lasting ten months, she left Glasgow on 16th June 1922, bound for Vancouver from where she began scheduled sailings on the company’s main Pacific route to Yokohama. Barely a year later, on 1st September 1923, she found herself in the news when she rescued hundreds of people from the disastrous Tokyo earthquake at considerable risk to her own safety. In June 1927, after having new turbines installed, she was transferred onto the Southampton to Quebec service and on her first voyage carried the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor) and others to Canada for the Confederation celebrations. Her summer express service to Quebec alternated with winter cruising and this continued for thirteen successful years until the advent of the Second World War. Just prior to the outbreak of War, she took King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Canada for a Royal Tour but was commandeered as a troopship in September 1939, a role she never relinquished. Her wartime career included several lucky escapes and took her all over the world whilst post-War duties brought her celebrity as the last British troopship out of both India (Bombay) and Palestine (Haifa). A last reprieve, thanks to the Korean War, kept her at sea for a further two years but in May 1952 she was sold for scrapping and broken up.
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