McFarlane, Duncan Attr.
Oil on canvas, depicting the American ship "CONTINENT" and other vessels coming into Liverpool, circa 1855. The painting has outstanding detail and color and is a fine example of McFarlane's work. The black hull ship has painted false gunports along her side. At the bow, there is a detailed figurehead. Rear of the figurehead is a quarterboard with gold lettering with the name, "CONTINENT". Below the quarterboard is a gold painted scrolled trailboard. The ship is flying most of her sails. The lowest sail on the main mast is fluttering while being raised and the lower sail on the aft mast is furled, thus exposing the outstanding detail in the ratlines and standing rigging. The sails are beautifully shaded and retain the original seams and reef points. The shadow in the sails as well as the raised sails are typical McFarlane techniques. Flying from the top of the foremast is the Union Jack and flying from the top of the main mast is a red, white and blue house flag and flying off the gaff is a wonderful depiction of the American flag with a large five pointed star at the center of the blue ground surrounded by seventeen additional smaller stars. To the left of the ship is Point Lynas with a lighthouse signaling the entrance to Liverpool Harbor. There are three sailing vessels including pilot boat No.12, a topsail sloop and a brig. All three vessels are painted in remarkable detail. To the right of the "CONTINENT" is what appears to be one of the American Collins Line paddlewheel steam sail vessels flying the American flag while navigating under steam and sail. In the right corner is a large hovering gull which has become a hallmark of McFarlane's paintings. (PA-644)
Condition of painting: Please see document folder for full condition report by Yost Restoration. Condition of frame: The painting has a nineteenth century style compo frame with a 23 karat gold surface.
Note: The ship "Continent" was built in Bath, Maine in 1850 by James Drummond & Co. and belong to the port of New Bedford, Massachusetts and later to New York. The vessel was owned by Howland & Co. She was 169.5 feet in length, 36 feet in beam and she drew 18 feet. The ship "Continent" on May 9th of 1867 sunk and her shipwreck crew numbering nineteen men and one woman were rescued by Captain Wilson from the American bark, "Almira Coombs". Her full cargo consisting of 2600 bales of cotton and $ 8,000 in spices were lost. (Information from the Boston Journal May 15, 1867).
Reference: Peabody Essex Museum, "Across the Western Ocean: American Ships by Liverpool Artists", Salem, Massachusetts, Vol. 131, 1995. There are several examples of McFarlane paintings illustrated in this collection of Liverpool artists.
Dimensions of painting: 24 x 36.
Dimensions of frame: 33 x 45 1/8.