The tea clipper Elizabeth Nicholson of Dumfries approaching Hong Kong oil on canvas 45 x 60cm (17 11/16 x 23 5/8in).
Built of wood by John Nicholson & Co. at Annan on the Solway Firth in 1863, the Elizabeth Nicholson was registered at 904 tons gross (& net) and measured 192.5 feet in length with a 32.5 foot beam. Owned by her builders, she enjoyed a surprisingly long life although only had a relatively short career in the China tea trade for which she had been designed. Her maiden passage home, Shanghai to Liverpool, in 1864 under Captain Ewart, was a disappointing 128 days but he was soon replaced and his successor, Captain Crosbie, did far better, bringing her home from Shanghai to London in the winter of 1866-67 in an excellent 106 days. The following year was even better and her time of 92 days, Foochow to London, was not only the fastest of the season, but also one of the best ever recorded for the run.
For the next four seasons, she took her tea cargoes into New York, after which her owners transferred her into the Calcutta trade where she remained until 1888 when she was sold to new London owners. Four years later she was resold to Chilean owners who renamed her Elisa. Sold back into British registry in 1899, her new Shanghai owners gave her back her original name and she remained at sea until 1913 when she was hulked. It is recorded that she was still afloat in Shanghai harbour as late as the mid-1920s although her final fate is unknown.