A gorgeous 19th century China trade marine oil painting portrait of the 3 masted clipper ship Unity of Boston under full sail. Excellent details, including riggings and sail. Good wave action, and there is another ship on the horizon. You can see the reefing lines on the sails. She is flying the American ensign. Unsigned, most likely by a port artist in Canton or Shanghai; about 1850.
There were a number of sailing vessels with the name Unity, including one during the outbreak of the Revolution. This is the Yankee Clipper with that acre of sails, circa 1850. She plied the China trade routes between the East Coast ports and southern China ports including Canton. A typical voyage begins in Boston or New York, going around the Horn up the coast to San Francisco to discharge the gold miners and luxuries. Then it is to Chinese ports of Hongkong, Macau, Canton or Shanghai. It sails to England around the Cape of Good Hope with tea... the bigger American clippers are faster than English ships and the tea arrives fresher. Then she returns home with silk and porcelain. Takes maybe a year altogether.
24" by 18" sight; in a vintage frame about 29" by 22.5". Good condition with typical old crackalure. One old small canvas patch on the back about 3/4".
A beauty and hard to find Chinese export oil on canvas.
Note. A barque rigged ship was launched from Salem in 1861. The barque used a huge vertical sail (like a schooner) on the mizzen mast (aftmost), and square rigs on the forward masts. This may have been converted to square rigg for easier handling under sail. That huge canvas on a large ship would have been very hard to handle in a stiff wind with those old riggings. Would appreciate more information.