Marine Painting, Clipper Ship Southern Cross of Boston, China Trade - Antique Associated At West Townsend

Marine Painting, Clipper Ship Southern Cross of Boston, China Trade

Built 1851, 938.5 Tons

Marine Painting, Clipper Ship Southern Cross of Boston, China Trade

(1.) The medium clipper ship “Southern Cross” was built in 1851 by E. and H. Briggs at their shipyard in South Boston for the shipping company Baker and Morrill of Boston. She was named for what the owners thought to be the most beautiful constellation in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Southern Cross” experienced a great deal of adversity, with contrary winds, dismasting, and a fire, preventing her from making fast passages as her owners expected. Her career ended when the Confederate cruiser “Florida” captured and burned her in June 1863.

This beautiful vessel is a fair medium between the extreme sharpness of the clippers recently built here, and the New York packets. Possessing rounded lines, finely formed ends, good rise and length of floor, no doubt need be entertained of her success as a swift sailor, and what is more, of being a trust-worthy vessel in a heavy sea. Her bearings are such that she will endure driving, when, perhaps, a vessel of leaner ends might be compelled to shorten sail. She is beautiful sparred, and well rigged. As a whole we consider her a ship of beautiful proportions, well-built of good materials, handsomely finished, and liberally found. Messer’s. E. & H.O. Briggs, of South Boston, built her, and so well satisfied were her owners of the faithful manner in which the builders had performed their contract, that they presented each of the builders with a handsome token of their approbation. She is owned by Messrs. Baker & Morrill, of this city, and will be commanded by Capt. Levi Stevens, an experienced and skillful sailor. She is now loading at Central wharf for San Francisco and will be ready for sea in a few days. Success to her. 1.The Boston Daily Atlas, May 5, 1851.

Museum Loan: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; May 1974 (Labeled)

Item Date: 1851-1863

Measurement: Frame: 27.5" x 22.5"; View: 23.5" x 18.5"

Material: Oil on canvas, within a period ripple molded frame with a conforming gilt liner.

Item Condition: Very good, lined; scattered fill to craquelure mostly limited to sky off her bow.

Reference: Merchant Sail, by William Armstrong Fairburn, Vol. I, page 1563. Fitz Henry Lane Historical Archive [online project] Cape Ann Museum McLean, Duncan: The New Clipper Ship Southern Cross, Boston. The Boston Daily Atlas May 5, 1851.

Price: $6,800

SKU 1121-127

For More Information, Please Contact David Hillier at 978-597-8084 or email

Please click on images to expand.