Painting, Clipper Ship Hurricane

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The Hurricane was an extreme clipper ship built in 1850 by Issac C. Smith in Hoboken, New Jersey. The ship measured 215 feet long and 1,680 tons. Hurricane was owned by C.W. & H. Thomas of New York. While owned by C.W. & H. Thomas it was captained by Samuel Very. Hurricane traded from New York to China. It was reported to be the first ship ever to travel 400 nautical miles in 24 hours. Hurricane was one of only three ships at the time to have a moon-sail on its main mast, a moon-sail is a sail flown immediately above a sky-sail, and it was generally only used on ships of a large size. After the depression of 1857 had made the ship unprofitable, it was sold at Singapore to the British in 1860. The ship was renamed the Shaw-Allum, and is in the register as late as 1876. In the painting, Hurricane is flying the American Flag at Whampoa Island. Pagoda Island is visible in the background, along with some buildings and docks.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1850-1857
Physical Description
mounted on panel (overall production method/technique)
oil on canvas (overall material)
without frame: 17 1/2 in x 23 in; 44.45 cm x 58.42 cm
with frame: 23 3/4 in x 28 in; 60.325 cm x 71.12 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Cigna Maritime Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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