Massachusetts/Florida/England, 1929-2023

"Victoria, View from Songhee Point, 1891".

An original study done in oil for the larger work on which Stobart's 1996 print "Victoria: The 'Thermopylae' Alongside Main Wharf in 1891" was based. A classic Stobart composition, this view features the famed clipper having just arrived home to Victoria, capital of British Columbia, after a voyage to Asia. Signed and dated lower left "Stobart 1993". Titled on frame plaque.
Oil on canvas, 9.75" x 14.25". Framed 17.5" x 22.25". Includes copies of notes about the work.
Condition: Excellent condition: no obvious damages or restorations.

The absence of a condition report does not imply an object is free of defects. All items may have normal signs of age and wear commensurate with their age; these issues will likely not be mentioned in the condition report. Please contact Eldred's before the auction with any condition questions. Questions about condition will not be answered after purchase. Condition reports are provided as a courtesy, and we are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Important note on frames: Frames are not guaranteed to be in the same condition as they are in the item photograph. Due to handling and shipping, many frames, especially antique ones, are prone to losses. If you have questions about the condition of a frame, please contact us prior to the auction. 

  • Provenance:
    Kensington Galleries, Boston.
    Peninsula Gallery, Sidney, British Columbia, 1994.
    Private Collection, Washington.

    Seen here, Thermopylae had arrived in port June 26, 1891 with a cargo of rice from Saigon. Like her rivals in the China Trade depicted in this work, she was of composite construction, with elm and teak planking on iron frames. Her most prominent identifying characteristic, however, was her green hull, which made her the "prettiest vessel ever" under sail.

    The 212-foot clipper was built in Aberdeen for George Thompson's Aberdeen Line and was launched in 1868. Designed for the China Trade, she set a speed record on her maiden voyage from Gravesend to Melbourne of 63 days, still the fastest trip under sail. She sailed exceptionally well in light wind, averaging the outbound trip in 69 days and the return passage with cargo in 106 days. While racing Cutty Sark from Shanghai to London she had a record day's run of 380 statute miles, a feat no other ship had managed before. She won by seven days after Cutty Sark lost her rudder.

    From 1882 to 1890 she took part only in the Australian wool trade. She was sold to Canadian owners and used in the timber trade, and then sold again in 1895 to the Portuguese government and used as a naval ship, renamed
    Pedro Nunes . The conversion to a training ship did not occur however, and she was soon reduced to a coal hulk. She was sunk by torpedoes in 1907 as part of a Portuguese Navy League regatta.

    The capital city of Victoria is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and has views of the Olympic and Cascade mountains and the San Juan Islands. John Stobart indicated this view is looking east, toward the settlement at Songhee Point.

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