"Pacific Deep" tea clipper Thermopylae signed lower left "Henry Scott" oil on canvas 24 x 36 in. (60.9 x 91.4) cm.
Provenance: with MacConnal-Mason & Son, Ltd., London
Thermopylae was an extreme clipper ship built in 1868 by Walter Hood & Co of Aberdeen, to the design of Bernard Weymouth of London. She was built for the Aberdeen Line, which was founded in 1825 by George Thompson. Thermopylae had principal dimensions of LOA: 212ft. x Beam: 36ft. x Draft 20 ft. 9in. with a gross tonnage of 991. Thermopylae was designed for the China tea trade, and set speed records on her maiden voyage to Melbourne (63 days - still the fastest trip under sail). In 1872, Thermopylae raced the clipper Cutty Sark from Shanghai and back to London. Thermopylae won by seven days after Cutty Sark lost her rudder. From 1882 onward, Thermopylae took part in the Australian wool trade. In 1897 she was sold to Portugal for use as a naval training ship and renamed the Pedro Nunes. On 13 October 1907, the Portuguese Navy towed the Pedro Nunes ex-Thermopylae down the Tagus river by two warships, and before Amelia de Orleans, Queen of Portugal, she was torpedoed with full naval honors off Cascais.