Packet Ship Samoset, ca. 1851

zoomable artifact image here


Oil painting on canvas of packet ship Samoset, circa 1851.  Painting is unsigned, but is attributed to Scottish artist Duncan McFarlane (1818-1865), a skilled ship portrait painter who was active in Liverpool between 1848 and 1865.  Many of his surviving works depict American ships.  The 136-foot American packet ship was launched at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1847.  Here, the vessel is shown starboard side, under short sail with painted ports, deckhouses and bulwarks green, with an Indian figurehead, gold star & cathead.  Nine figures are visible on deck, and 5 signal flags fly from the missenmast.  In this painting, she is seen approaching Liverpool in the dark, stormy Irish Sea, passing one of the large wooden American transatlantic steamships of the Collins Line (possibly Atlantic), which began service in 1850.