FURNESS LINES, DATED 1883
GOUCHE ON PAPER
Gouache on paper
Unframed 23" L x 15" H
Framed 28 1/2" x 20 1/2"
Presented is an original painting of the steamship
WETHERBY of Hartlepoole, England, She sailed under the flag of the Furness Lines until she was lost off of Cape
Hatteras, NC on January 12, 1893. Launched in 1883, she was an iron steam ship with a tonnage of 2129.18. Her
engines were built by Black Hawthorn.
In this work dated 1883, the year of her launch, she is
flying the British Merchant Ensign at her stern, and the Furness House flag from her mizzen truck. Her plumb bow
shows a nice "bone in its teeth" as she gracefully steams with her auxiliary sails furled. She is a transitional vessel
from pure sailing ships of the same era, but has only two masts with limited sail, and is of a newer three island design.
The weather is calm with puffy clouds, skies and gentle seas. The painting is in its original
period frame. It typifies the English School of ship portraits.
NOTE: The photographs were taken through glass, and what may look like
stains, or discoloration are really reflected images. The three areas of darker water are how the artist depicts the
CONDITION: The painting is in excellent
condition considering its age and is ready to hang. The gilded frame has a couple of chips of missing, the largest of which
is at the left corner. Under lighting from the side, it appears the paper was folded at one time. The photographs were
taken though glass, and there are some reflected images.
THE FURNESS LINES: The company was started
by Thomas and Christopher Furness in West Hartlepool. They became ship owners starting in 1878. After Thomas left the company,
in 1883 Christopher Furness purchased an interest in the shipyard of Edward Withy and in 1884 bought the company outright.
In 1885 Christopher Furness collaborated with Thomas Wilson to form the Wilson Furness line to operate services between Newcastle
and New York. By 1891 the fleet contained 18 ships and Furness Withy & Co. was founded.
During the following years, the firm, combined shipbuilding, ship owning and ship
management, and grew into a very large organization. Their routes ran mainly between the UK and the East Coast of North America.
They were extended through the Panama Canal to the Northern Pacific coast in 1919 and from 1932, they ran a route between
New York and Bermuda.
Furness, Withy & Co was sold to C. Y. Tung, Hong Kong in 1980 but they gradually
disposed of the ships and in 1990, they sold Furness, Withy (Shipping) Ltd to the owner of the Hamburg South America
Line. In 1998 the name of the firm reverted to Furness, Withy & Co, Ltd and still remained operational in 1999.
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This is a rare painting of one of the first ships
in the Furness Lines Fleet and represents a piece of nautical history.
2007, Land And Sea Collection™, All rights reserved