Rare Pair of Paintings: Ship and a Portrait of its Captain

Category:

Silver Cloud, a Bark Merchant Ship

American, circa 1853. Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 in. Original walnut and gilt frame

Inscribed along lower margin: “SILVER CLOUD. CAPT. THOs. W. LEWIS”
Canvas maker’s stencil on verso: “From / J. J. ADAMS / 99 WASHINGTON ST / BOSTON”

The Bark Silver Cloud was launched at Georgetown, Maine on May 14, 1853. It sailed from Bath, Maine to Boston about June 9, 1853 and arrived June 12. Initially acting as a merchant vessel she sailed from Boston to Cape town, Cape of Good Hope, on June 25, and cleared Cape town on October 21, 1853. Advertisements in The Boston Courier from January 1854 show that she was carrying Cape Town Madeira. She was back in Cape Town in the Spring of 1854, cleared Cape Town July 22, 1854 and again on December 13, 1854.

Auctioned in New York in May 1855, and may have been sold a second time in 1856 to whaling interests. Lewis was still her Captain in 1855 when she cleared Valparaiso but by November 1656 she
was captained by Frederick Coggeshall.

From 1856 to 18560 she sailed the pacific whale fisheries with New Bedford as her home port, landing at ports in Honolulu and others. She arrived in New York on May 24, 1862 and suffered a rather spectacular end in a fire at the Williamsburg piers, where she was burned beyond repairs.

Provenance:
By descent in the family of Captain Thomas W. Lewis

Artist: Sturtevant J. Hamblin (1817-1884). Portrait of Captain W. Lewis of the Silver Cloud

Maine or Massachusetts. Oil on artist board, circa 1853. 18 x 13 in. Original walnut and gilt frame.

Bears an old label on the backboard: CAPT/ THOMAS W. LEWIS / OWNER AND SKIPPER OF / SILVER CLOUD / JOINED MASONIC ORDER AT CAPE OF GOOD HOPE / FATHER OF SARAH E. LEWIS- / WHO WAS WIFE OF GEORGE B. LAWTON, PARENTS / OF EDNA B. AND IDA M. LAWTON / AUNT EDNA DIED 2-77″

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