Painting, Wool Clipper Ship Parramatta


Parramatta was built in 1866 by James Laing in Sutherland, England for Devitt and Moore's passenger trade run to Sydney, Australia. The ship measured 231 feet in length and 1,521 tons. According to an inscription on the back of the painting, the ship was one of the wool fleet from 1875-1876, going from Sydney to London in 79 days. Captain J. Swanson commanded the ship until 1874, when Captain Goddard took over until the ship’s sale in 1888 to J. Simonsen of Norway. In January 1898, Parramatta sailed from Galveston, TX headed for King's Lynn, Norfolk, England and disappeared along the way. Parramatta was a Blackwall frigate. Blackwall frigates were three-masted merchant ships originally built to replace British East Indiamen in the trade between England and India. However, many Blackwell frigates, including Paramatta, became active in the trade between England and Australia. It was the second fastest of the Blackwall frigates after the Tweed. The painting shows Parramatta off Sydney Heads, Australia with a view of the coastline in the background. A small flight of steps and some women can be seen on deck. The presence of women is indicative of the Parramatta as a passenger ship, as a group of women would likely not have been on a trading voyage. Other details about the ship include the use of davits to hold up the lifeboats, where earlier they would have been merely tied to ropes and lowered over the side. Leather strips called "brails" used to shorten the sails can be seen running across the sails, and the flags on the lifeboat match the house flag located on the mainmast. Artist Frederick Tudgay (1841-1921) was youngest in a family of marine artists. He and his father, John Tudgay, occasionally worked in collaboration.

Date Made: 1879

Maker: Tudgay, Frederick

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Maritime


See more items in: Work and Industry: Maritime, Cigna Maritime Collection, Transportation, Art


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2005.0279.046Accession Number: 2005.0279Catalog Number: 2005.0279.046

Object Name: paintingpainting, oil

Physical Description: oil on canvas (overall material)Measurements: without frame: 26 in x 42 1/2 in; 66.04 cm x 107.95 cmwith frame: 31 1/4 in x 47 3/4 in; 79.375 cm x 121.285 cm


Record Id: nmah_1301955

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