1806 - 1878
Oil on canvas attributed to the Enlish artist John Huges of the American clipper ship, "Samuel Lawrence", circa 1855. A similar painting attributed to Francis Huswick is illustrated in the new Sam Davidson book. This colorful and spirited work depicts the three masted ship, "Samuel Lawrence" preparing to depart Liverpool for Boston Harbor. The name, "Samuel Lawrence", appears on the bow and stern quarterboard. Sam Davidson further points out that the location is in the Mersey River, the artist having his back to Liverpool and looking towards the Mersey entrance. The Perch Rock fort and lighthouse at New Brighton is visible on the horizon beneath the ship's bowsprit. The tower on the right is the Victoria Clock Tower marking Salisbury dock. This is a very rare view of which there is only one other known example. The five signal flags flying from the rear mast confirms the ship's identity as the "Samuel Lawrence". The "Samuel Lawrence" was named after the Massachusetts-born revolutionary. The ship was built in Medford, Massachusetts in 1851 by Paul Curtis. Initially this ship made several notable passages from New York to California. From 1855 until 1858, the ship was classified as a Boston to Liverpool packet transporting mail, cargo and passengers from the Boston agent, Warren and Thayer. In 1862, the "Samuel Lawrence" was sold to British owners and renamed, "Vanguard", in order to escape Confederate raiders. The vessel is shown hove to with a launch pulled up unloading passengers. To the right are two additional launches carrying passengers to the ship. The launch in the foreground has aboard a woman in a bright red dress. To the left of the clock tower is a second bow on view of the "Samuel Lawrence" sailing towards the viewer. The painting has brilliant color as well as an interesting level of activity. (PA-575
Condition of painting: Refer to document folder for full condition report. Condition of frame: The painting has a contemporary nineteenth century style fluted-cove frame with a 23 karat gold surface.
Reference 1: Finamore, Daniel (Curator), "Across the Western Ocean: American Ships by Liverpool Artists", Salem, Massachusetts: Peabody Essex Museum Collections, Vol. 131, No. 1, 1995. Several Liverpool portrait paintings are illustrated in this book.
Reference 2: Brewington, M.V. and Dorothy, "The Marine Paintings and Drawings in the Peabody Museum", Salem, Massachusetts: 1968, pp. 165 & 153. A painting of the ship, "Samuel Lawrence", by Fitz Henry Lane is described and illustrated in these pages.
Dimensions of painting: 24 x 36.
Dimensions of frame: 33 3/4 x 45 5/8.