The 'Streatham' and the opium clipper 'Red Rover'
The 'Streatham' with the opium clipper 'Red Rover' are shown at anchor in the Hooghly River, Calcutta. The buildings of Calcutta dominate the skyline in the background. A local craft with passengers seen through the louvred canopy is being rowed from the 'Streatham'. Figures on the shore on the right survey the scene and the nearest man appears to be fishing in the mighty river. Two thirds of the painting is sky which emphasises the vast scale of India. The 'Streatham' was a ship of the Honourable East India Company. The 'Red Rover' was the first and most famous of the purpose-built 'opium clippers' which carried opium from India to China. She was launched in Calcutta on 12 December 1829 and ran between Calcutta and the Pearl River. In 1846 she was bought by Jardine Matheson. Designed on the lines of fast American clipper ships, the 'Red Rover' doubled the profits of her owners by making two voyages a year from Calcutta to China. The ship was finally lost in the early 1870s.
- Image reference: BHC3580
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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