Circle of William Howard Yorke (British, 1847-1921) The legendary American clipper “Red Jacket” at sea during her record-breaking North Atlantic run in January 1854 80.7 x 120.6cm. (31 3/4 x 47 1/2in.)

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Lot 148
Circle of William Howard Yorke
(British, 1847-1921)
The legendary American clipper “Red Jacket” at sea during her record-breaking North Atlantic run in January 1854 80.7 x 120.6cm. (31 3/4 x 47 1/2in.)

Sold for £ 10,800 (US$ 13,604) inc. premium

Marine

13 Sep 2005, 14:00 BST

London, New Bond Street

Circle of William Howard Yorke (British, 1847-1921)
The legendary American clipper “Red Jacket” at sea during her record-breaking North Atlantic run in January 1854
oil on canvas
80.7 x 120.6cm. (31 3/4 x 47 1/2in.)

Footnotes

  • Built for the Boston firm of Seacomb & Taylor in 1853, “Red Jacket” was one of those rare ships which achieved the status of legend in its own lifetime and never lost that celebrity despite the ignominy of old age. Designed by Samuel H. Pook and launched from George Thomas’s yard at Rockland, Maine, on 2nd November 1853, she was registered at 2,305 tons and measured 251 feet in length with a 44 foot beam. With an exquisitely modelled stern and perfectly proportioned spars and rigging, her graceful bow was crowned by a full-length figurehead of the American Indian Chief Sagoyewatha, famous for the red coat he had always worn and which had apparently been given to him by a British officer during the American War of Independence.

    “Red Jacket” sailed from New York on her maiden voyage on 11th January 1854 and, running before the wind at a cracking pace, arrived at Liverpool in 13 days, 1 hour and 25 minutes, dock to dock, thereby setting the record for the fastest eastbound Atlantic crossing by a full-rigged merchant ship which still stands today. Her reputation made overnight, she was straightaway chartered by the British-owned White Star Line for a round trip to Melbourne, the outward journey taking a mere 69½ days, including the run from the Cape of Good Hope to her destination in an unequalled and never bettered 19 days. After twelve days in port loading 45,000 ounces of gold, she sailed for Liverpool arriving home in an exceptional 73 days. In the light of her outstanding performance on both legs of the journey, she was purchased by White Star for £30,000 who continued operating her on their Australian run until the end of 1859 when she was transferred into the Calcutta trade. Sold by the White Star Line when the company went into steam in 1868, she then worked the Quebec to London timber trade until about 1882 when she was retired to the Cape Verde Islands and there employed as a coal hulk.
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