The present work depicts the race of 1872 between two of the greatest tea clippers ever to sail, Cutty Sark and Thermopylae. Having set sail from Shanghai, Cutty Sark established a healthy lead but disastrously lost her rudder in heavy weather. A new rudder was built and fitted between 15 and 20 August and despite this delay she arrived in the Downs on 18th October, less than a week behind Thermopylae. Considering the setback Cutty Sark was generally considered the honourable victor.
There is a minor line of craquelure near the horizon by the right edge, which corresponds with the stretcher. There are one or two tiny specks of surface staining in the sky. Otherwise, the work is in good overall condition with areas of strong impasto.
UV reveals pigments which fluoresce which are apparently the hand of the artist.
Held in a gilt plaster frame.
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