Painting, Barque Otteren

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The was originally built as the barque Robert Barbour. It was built in 1862 by Brown in Richibucto, New Brunswick. Robert Barbour measured 146 feet long and 561 tons. Its first owners were Duff and Company and it traded between Liverpool and India. Around 1867 Robert Barbour was sold to J.C. Johnson of Norway and its name was changed to Otteren, which means "the otter" in English. The Otteren was listed as abandoned by Lloyds in 1886.
The painting is a profile of Otteren with all its sails unfurled. A steamer to the right and several small sailing vessels to the left are visible. The ensign flown by the vessels is unique and is not readily recognized by Norwegians. At this time period Norway and Sweden were united under Sweden's monarch, as Norway had no king. Norway only began using its current flag in 1905 when a king from Denmark took the throne. Norway combined the flags, taking the yellow horizontal stripe of the Swedes and the Blue vertical bar of the Norwegians. In the painting the yellow bar is fading.
Currently not on view
date made
Maryford, W. Mitchell
Physical Description
oil on canvas (overall material)
without frame: 30 1/2 in x 46 1/2 in; 77.47 cm x 118.11 cm
with frame: 38 1/2 in x 54 3/4 in; 97.79 cm x 139.065 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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