Port of Canton

Austrian, American, French, and British and Danish flags fly in front ot the Hongs (merchant's compounds or building complexes) in Canton. On the river two Royal Navy barges row.

Watercolor port painting of Canton.

Chinese Painting of the Hongs of Canton

Chinese painting of the Hongs of Canton and a view of Canton Harbor, c. 1850. These painting were produced in quantities to sell to the western merchants. There are six Chinese junks and an American steamboat in the foreground. Flags of America, France, Britain and Denmark fly. A massive fire destroyed these buildings in 1856. Hongs served as residences, trading headquarters, and warehouses for western merchants in Canton. Westerners were restricted to the Hongs.

Shipyard by Carroll Thayer Berry

Painting, "Shipyard," by Carroll Thayer Berry, possibly based on the artist's work at Bath Iron Works during World War II, although the vessel being built is a merchant ship, not the warships that were built at Bath.

Ship Red Jacket

Rockland-built clipper ship Red Jacket.

Launched in 1853, and famous for her fast 13-day, 1-hour passage from New York to Liverpool in 1854, she was sold to British owners for regular passage between England and Australia.

When Percy Sanborn created this painting Red Jacket was long gone.

Read on for the full story.

Barkentine Mary Jenness

Barkentine Mary Jenness by Luigi Renault, signed, 1876

Captain George Harrison Oakes took Mary Jenness on her first voyage down to New York, and there loaded and sailed her to Livorno. He was proud of the new ship, the 505 ton, 132’ product of his father Joseph’s yard in Brewer. He hired Renault to paint her. Renault was a good choice for he would be appointed marine artist to the King of Italy.

Brig Off Liverpool, 1823

Robert Salmon, signed on reverse, 1823

Salmon kept a catalogue of his paintings, numbering each painting and indicating where he was when it was painted. This is number 395 which, according to the catalogue, must have been second to last painting he did in 1823 in Liverpool, before he emigrated to Boston.

Whaling Scene

This whaling scene shows a boat rowing close enough to the whale so that the harpooner could 'dart' the iron. This sperm whale has already destroyed one boat, a risk that whalers took. The whaleship is in the backgound. Shore whaling would use a similar boat. This somewhat dramatic whaling scene was painted by Waldo Peirce, who lived in Searsport.

Oil on canvas

Ship St. Leon

The St. Leon was built in Castine, Maine in 1835 at a cost of $33,462. She was owned by a consortium of Castine merchants with Witherle and Jarvis the principals. She made frequent voyages to Liverpool (where she was painted by Liverpool artist John Huges for 5 pounds sterling and 50 pence for the crate) and European ports. She worked in the New Orleans cotton trade, carrying fish and ice to New Orleans, then cotton to Liverpool and returning with salt for the Penobscot Bay fisheries. The salt came from British mines near Liverpool.

Ship William H. Conner

Oil on canvas painting of ship William H. Conner, built in Searsport in 1877. It was the last and largest full-rigged ship built in Searsport, costing over $100,000. Apparently in three voyages she earned her construction costs, but that was the exception; 15% was closer to the rule. Marlboro Packard was her master builder, working at the Carver yard. The Museum has his half model of the vessel. Such a vessel would have attracted much attention including that of artist Percy Sanborn from neighboring Belfast.


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