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Clipper Ship Cards Archer-Garibaldi ** General Grant - Matchless **Olivia Davis-William Tell
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GEORGE PEABODY. This card measures 105 x 165 mm. Nesbitt, printer. J.D. Paine, Commander. Coleman Line. The George Peabody was built in Medford, Mass. 1853. She weighed 1397 tons, and was condemned at Valparaiso in 1881. The shipping firm, Coleman's, was a New York firm. See Fairburn, V, VI. American Clipper Ships, Vol. I, p. 224. A tanned and spotted copy of this card sold at Siegel sale, (1990) for $650. This card has light oxidation near the bottom and glue marks on the back, and is otherwise in Good condition.

$1750.00

SUSAN FEARING.

This is a large and interesting card, measuring 116 x 180 mm. It is interesting because the image is identical to the Fanny S. Perley card which was used as the cover illustration on the catalog for the Siegel sale in 1990. It is a most attractive scene, showing a ship loading her cargo at a New York dock. The name of the ship, printed on the foresail, has been changed to Susan Fearing. The commander has changed from York to H. Newcomb, and the agent is now Randolph M. Cooley rather than Babcock, Cooley & Co. According to "Yankee Ship Sailing Cards" vol. III, the Susan Fearing was built in 1861 in East Boston by Paul Curtis. The card boasts that "she is one of Paul Curtis' best, and only one year old" which dates the card in 1862. Light oxidation on right margin, old glue marks on back. The Fanny S. Perley card sold for $1900 at the Siegel sale in 1990.

$3000

May 2005 Acquisitions

ASTERION.

Nesbitt, printer. E. C. Gardner, Commander. Coleman Line. 103 x 165 mm. Asterion was a medium clipper, built by Stetson at Chelsea, Mass. in 1854. She displaced 1135 tons and was ?built for carrying capacity, rather than speed, although her passages averaged very fast.? - American Clipper Ships. p. 25-27. She joined the California trade about 1860 and completed the passage advertised on this card in 1862, with Hurd, rather than Gardner as Commander. She was lost in 1863. A similar Asterion card in about this condition sold for $1200 in 1990 at the Siegel sale. This card is clean and bright except for an old fold in the upper right, and a small spot and corner chip in the lower left.

$2000.00

CALYPSO.

Nesbitt, printer. Baker, Commander. Coleman Line. 103 x 164 mm. Though vessels of this name appeared during the War of 1812, in the 1820s, and in the coastal trade (including that famous packet schooner Calypso) there is no record in any of the usual sources of this clipper ship. The text on the card says, ?This little Clipper is new, and built at NEWBURYPORT, expressly for the CALIFORNIA AND CHINA trade.? Obviously a scarce card. Light corner and edge wear, else in very good condition.

$2750.00

CARRIER DOVE.

Nesbitt, printer. Jackson, Commander. Coleman Line. 162 x 101 mm. This is one of the most distinctive and charming sailing card images. A similar card brought $1400 at the Siegel sale in 1990. The Carrier Dove was built at Baltimore in 1855. According to American Clipper Ships, I, pp. 51-52 she was ?said to have been of beautiful model.? She ran aground in 1876 and was lost. This card show light corner wear, is otherwise in very good condition.

$2750.00
Sold

EMERALD ISLE.

Nesbitt, printer. Cornish, Commander. Coleman Line. 104 x 166 mm. The Emerald Isle was an extreme clipper of 1736 tons, built in Bath, ME in 1853. See Cutler, Greyhounds, p. 426. On or before 1885 she was sold to the Dutch. She is pictured and described on pp. 26-27 of Ship Sailing Cards, vol. II. This attractive card shows only light soiling at the corners, with a single small chip at the top margin.

$2250.00
Sold

FAVORITA.

Nesbitt, printer. James Brown, Commander. Coleman Line. 104 x 165 mm. Favorita, 1194 tons, was built in Mystic, CT in 1862. In 1876 she was sold to the Germans, and she survived at least until 1891. Fairburn III, p. 1692. Ship Sailing Cards, II, pp. 36-37 features a card of the same name with a less attractive black and white image, which also sold at the Siegel sale (1990) for $850. This card is bright and in very good condition, with only light corner wear.

$2250.00

FEARLESS.

Nesbitt, printer. Thos. A. Holt, Commander. Coleman Line. 166 x 103 mm. Fearless was built by Pook in 1853 and, according to Ship Sailing Cards, vol. I, pp. 16-17, she ?is mentioned as resembling a yacht... The Fearless was a fast sailer, made a fine record, and visited many of the usual ports.? She wound up in the lumber trade out of Halifax. An example showing similar wear sold at the Siegel sale in 1990 for $500. This card shows some surface wear and an old fold along the left edge. It is in good condition.

$1500.00

GOV. MORTON.

Nesbitt, printer. L. W. Holt, Commander. Coleman Line. 166 x 103 mm. The Gov. Morton was a medium clipper of 1303 tons, built in Somerset, Mass. in 1851. Horton was master of the ship prior to 1868. She burned in 1877, after twenty years in the California trade. See American Clipper Ships I, pp. 247-250. The card is described and pictured in Ship Sailing Cards, vol. III, pp. 45-46. A similar card brought $900 in the Siegel sale in 1990. This card shows light corner wear and a scratch on the top edge. It is otherwise in very good condition.

$2250.00

LIVE OAK.

Nesbitt, printer. W.O. Alden, Commander. Coleman Line. 164 x 105 mm. ?The only Live Oak we found mentioned was a record in Lloyd?s Register of 1877 of a British vessel of this name... built at Mattapoisett, Mass., in 1832.? Ship Sailing Cards vol. III, pp. 58-59. This card certainly predates her British registration. Not in Siegel Sale catalog. Light corner wear, a handsome image.

$2250.00
Sold

NORWAY.

Nesbitt, printer. Coombs, Commander. Coleman Line. 103 x 165 mm. Fairburn, p. 1558, cites a 2050 ton ship of this name built in 1857 in New York. Her maiden voyage was to China and on her return her cargo of coolies mutinied. 70 of them were killed in the ensuing melee. If this is indeed the same vessel, the image on the card is an ironic contrast to the violence that occured aboard her. There is no record of this card anywhere. Light corner wear, otherwise in very good condition.

$2500.00

SYREN.

Nesbitt, printer. Green, Commander. Coleman Line. 104 x 164 mm. The Syren was a medium clipper, 876 tons, built in Medford, Mass. in 1851. She was condemned and sold in 1888. Repaired and renamed Margaraida, of Buenos Ayres, she appeared in Lloyd?s Register as late as 1920, giving her the distinction of being the longest surviving member of the clipper fleet. This card dates from around 1861, when she returned to the California trade. American Clipper Ships II, pp. 653-56. Ship Sailing Cards II, pp. 82-83. A rather discolored copy of this card sold at the Siegel sale (1990) for $750. This copy shows edge chipping and old creases on both lower corners.

$1500.00
Sold

WESTERN CONTINENT.

Nesbitt, printer. Lull, Commander. Coleman Line. 104 x 165 mm. An interesting image, picturing the opening of the west, fantasizing about the ideal 100 day passage, and showing the Chincha Islands, a major source of the guano that was such an important cargo. The Western Continent was a 1272 ton ship built in Maine in 1853 for Boston owners. A similar card in worse condition sold at the Siegel sale in 1990 for $500. This card has a light crease in the top edge, some surface wear, and light corner wear.

$2000.00
Sold

WM. CHAMBERLAIN.

Nesbitt, printer. Carver, Commander. Coleman Line. 103 x 164 mm. The Chamberlain was a 950 ton vessel built in 1854 by William Cramp in Pennsylvania. According to Ship Sailing Cards vol III, pp. 98-99, little is known about her, other than the fact that this is a scarce card. See Queens, p. 384. This is a striking image, the only clipper ship card that shows a ship?s stern. It accents this feature with highlights in gold and dramatic shading. A similar card sold for $850 at the Siegel sale in 1990. The present card shows light corner wear but is otherwise in very good condition.

$2500.00
Sold

Also Available

ARCHER

The Archer was a 905 ton clipper launched in New York in 1852. She had a longer than average life, lasting nearly thirty years, and was reputed to be a fast sailer, her average to San Francisco being 118 days. She once made New York from San Francisco in 99 days. She survived many mishaps including a grounding in China, a hurricane off Cape Hatteras and a near- foundering off Cape Horn. She foundered at sea in 1880, but the crew was rescued. This full color card bears the image of an archer reminiscent of the Robin Hood cards. It is unusual in that it was in the Boston - SanFrancisco trade, departing from Lewis' Wharf. It was printed in Boston by Watson's press, and it is scarce, not appearing in the Siegel sale. It has one small chip at the lower left corner but is otherwise in Excellent condition.

$1250.00

Black Prince

The Black Prince was a medium clipper ship of 1061 tons launched in Newburyport, Mass. 1856. In that year she made a passage from San Francisco to Hong Kong in 38 days. Her New York to San Francisco passages were less impressive. Her crew mutinied in 1858, forcing her to put into Rio, and adding considerably to her passage time. According to this card she was scheduled to sail Saturday, May 5th, which would have been in 1858. So this could well have been the voyage on which the mutiny occurred. She was lost in 1864 with all hands. This card has chipping and pinholes at all 4 corners, and one small spot on the card, but is otherwise in Very Good condition. The color image shows two knights jousting.

$850.00
Sold

Golden Era

This unusual card measures 3 1/4" wide by 5 1/2" high. It is unusual in that the Golden Era was engaged in the South American trade, sailing from New York to Valparaiso and Callao. Most clipper ship card were printed for the New York - San Francisco trade. It is also unusual in that it has a list of 32 vessels dispatched by the Thorndike line, which advertises itself on this card as the "only line for Valparaiso & Callao." A vessel of this name was launched for Thorndike in 1853. However, it was a 443 ton bark and was employed in the New Oreleans trade. This is likely this is a later ship of the same name, since it is stated on the card to be "600 tons." Wm. Bartlett was the agent, and the color vignette on this card shows a man on a tropical island holding the Bartlett flag. A full rigged ship sails from a palm treed Pacific island in the background. Quite scarce, not in Siegel sale. Pinholes in corners, with chip missing from upper left corner. Otherwise in Very Good condition.

$1000.00

Junius

This card is dated October 1861, in type in the lower lefthand corner, which meant the Junius sailed during the Civil War. All such cards are rare on the market. Printed in blue and gold. Card measures 3 5/16 x 5 3/4. Faint watermark in the upper third of the card, light chipping along top edge, not even touching ruled margin. Written on the back of the card is "Mess. Lemoyne & Bell 24 William Street." A copy of this card with a chip in the lower right corner sold for $260 at the Siegel sale in 1990.

$400.00

Morning Star

This 1105 ton clipper ship was launched in 1853 from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She was fine of line and heavily sparred and she made some outstanding runs. In 1863 she was captured by the Confederate privateer Alabama, but since the cargo was owned by neutrals she was released under a $60,000 bond. Shortly after this she was sold to the British and made some Australian runs for the famous Black Ball line. Scarce, not in the Siegel sale. This card shows light surface rubbing, but is in Very Good condition, with no chips or pinholes.

$750.00


The following collection of clipper ship cards has already been sold. The images and descriptions remain as a reference.

In 1848, prior to the discovery of gold, three ships from the east coast called at San Francisco Bay. The following year over 700 arrived. As commerce increased speed became incredibly important, and the American clipper ship began the final phase of its development. Clipper ship sailing cards saw their greatest use in the 1850's and 1860's, as the many ship lines competed to attract freight. Their bright colors and attractive designs were aimed at catching the eye of brokers and prospective shippers. In fact, these cards are historically significant as the earliest form of multicolor business advertising in America. In maritime history, they represent the golden age of wooden sailing ship technology. Since each card refers to a specific vessel, each is also a document of specific history pertaining to that vessel, listing such information as sailing time, port of origin, and captain. It has been estimated (Siegel catalog, 1990) that only about 3000 clipper ship cards survive today, and most of these are in institutional collections. This is an unparalleled private collection that has never previously appeared on the market. It includes many excellent examples of New York and Boston cards, and some cards of great rarity, such as the Audubon card (one other example known). In today's market it would take many years to assemble such a collection.


BLACK HAWK

165 x 105 mm. Nesbitt, printer. Doane, Master. Sutton Line.

1175 tons. Built by Wm. Webb in New York in 1856. Medium clipper. Made 20 CA passages. "Outstanding for longevity, number of voyages and length of passages... stands third of all clipper ships on all counts." Last appeared in Baltimore in 1880. This card dates 1861-1866. Fairburn II, pp. 1521-22; VI, 3775. ACS I, p. 41

Small, light spot in lower right. Written up in SS Cards. I. pp 4-5 (different image pictured). This card, with a corner crease, sold at the Siegel sale (1990) for $725.

$2500.00
Sold

C. A. FARWELL

104 x 165 mm. Nesbitt, printer. Girard, Commander. Coleman's California Line.

I can find no reference to a vessel of this name. Fairburn V, p. 3045, cites a "Farwell", 698 ton vessel built in Newbury, Mass. in 1841.

Old creases resulting in minor loss of image in a few places.

$1000.00
Sold

CHALLENGER

104 x 168 mm. Nesbitt, printer. Watson, Master. Coleman's California Line.

The Challenger was designed by Pook and launched in East Boston in 1853. There is a writeup of her eventful career in SS Cards III pp.18-20. She was noted for having returned from Shanghai "the most valuable cargo of tea and silk ($2,000,000) ever to be laden in one bottom." She was sold to the Peruvian government in 1863 and abandoned off the coast of Mexico in 1875. ACS pp. 70-72.

This card has an abrasion on the lower left hand corner, with loss of text.

$500.00
Sold

CHARGER

167 x 113 mm. Lester, Commander. Samuel Osgood Line.

Medium clipper, 1169 tons, built in Portsmouth, NH in 1856. "Said to have been the most costly ship of her size put afloat up to that time..." ACS I, pp. 82-85. Lester took over command in 1865. She was wrecked in the Pacific in 1873.

Upper left corner torn with loss of border and text. Fancy type, no image. A copy of this card, discolored on the right side, sold at the Siegel sale (1990) for $350.

$400

CHIEFTAN

110 x 172 mm. Watson's Press. McGuire, Commander. Winsor Line.

I can find no mention of this vessel or her commander in the standard reference sources. However, Winsor was a Boston line (see Cutler, Queens p. 267). The builder mentioned on the card, Paul Curtis, worked in Medford and East Boston, where he built 17 clipper ships in the 1850s (Fairburn III, p.1678). This card probably dates from the 1850s.

$1750.00
Sold

CONQUEST

165 x 106 mm. Howes, Master. Sutton Line.

Listed in Cutler, Greyhounds as having made a 156 day California passage in 1857. This information is repeated in Fairburn III, p. 1889. No other information available.

No image. A card of this name, bearing a different image, and discolored at top, sold in the Siegel sale (1990) for $575.

$500.00
Sold

CREMORNE
148 x 89 mm. Nesbitt, printer. Gates, Master. Sutton Line.

Built in 1862, Mystic, CT. 1091 tons. "The ship has to her credit runs of 102, 106, 111, and 113 days from the Golden Gate to New York ... On June 1, 1870, the Cremorne passed throught the Golden Gate bound for Liverpool ... and she was never heard from again." Fairburn V, pp. 2860-61.

A different card of the same name, with no decoration, sold at the Siegel sale (1990) for $120. A different card of the same name but bearing a differerent image appears in SS Cards, pp. 17-18.

$750.00

CREMORNE

103 x 164 mm. Nesbitt, printer. Gates, Master. Coleman's California Line.

Built in 1862, Mystic, CT. 1091 tons. "The ship has to her credit runs of 102, 106, 111, and 113 days from the Golden Gate to New York... On June 1, 1870, the Cremorne passed through the Gloden Gate bound for Liverpool... and she was never heard from again." Fairburn V, pp. 2860-62.

Visually, a lovely card. Two crease marks on corner, but no major flaws.

$2500.00
Sold

DASHING WAVE

82 x 140 mm. Watson's Press. Daniel D. Carlton, Commander. Winsor Line. Boston.

Medium clipper, 1054 tons, built in Portsmouth, NH, 1853. Carlton took command in 1866 and made one voyage. She survived until 1920. ACS I, pp. 115-119.

A chipped and creased copy of this card sold at the Siegel sale (1990) for $100.

$1200.00
Sold

E. SOUTHARD

115 x168 mm. Nesbitt, printer. Howes, Commander. Coleman Line.

I can find no mention of this vessel in any of the standard references.

$2000.00
Sold

EMERALD ISLE

115 x 169 mm. Nesbitt, printer. Cornish, Commander. Coleman Line.

Extreme clipper, 1736 tons, built in Bath, ME in 1853 (Cutler, Greyhounds, p.426). On or before 1885 she was sold to the Dutch.

This attractive card is pictured and described on pp. 26-27 of SS Cards, vol. II.

$2000.00
Sold

ENDEAVOUR

166 x 104 mm. Nesbitt, printer. Doane, Master. Sutton & Co. Dispatch Line.

Medium clipper, built at East Boston in 1856, 960 tons. Doane commanded her until 1868. She was burned in Japan in 1875. ACS p. 165.

$3000.00
Sold

FAVORITA

115 x 167 mm. Nesbitt, printer. James Brown, Commander. Coleman Line.

Favorita, 1194 tons, was built in Mystic, CT in 1862. In 1876 she was sold to the Germans, and she survived at least until 1891. Fairburn III, p. 1692.

SS Cards, II, pp. 36-37 features a card of the same name with a less attractive black and white image, which also sold at the Siegel sale (1990) for $850.

$1750.00

FLORENCE NIGHTENGALE

137 x 210 mm. Nesbitt, printer. E. W. Holmes, Commander. Coleman Line.

Canadian-built clipper, 1362 tons, 1855. Fairburn IV, p. 2322.

Corner chips and folds. Discoloration and wear to side and bottom edge. A copy of this card, severely discolored on the top and right side, sold for $450 at the Siegel sale (1990).

$1200.00

FREE TRADE

105 x 165 mm. Nesbitt, printer. Drinkwater, Commander. Robinson Line.

According to Cutler (Greyhounds, p. 333) she was in the Australian trade at least as late as 1857. Faiburn VI, p. 4039 lists her as being built in Newburyport in 1854.

$1500.00
Sold

GARIBALDI.

167 x 105 mm. Nesbitt, printer. Emery, Master. Sutton Line.

Built 1860, Mystic, CT. 1336 tons. "A prominent member of the early California grain fleet." Fairburn V, p. 2860. She was sold to the Germans in 1880. This vessel is mentioned in SS Cards II, pp. 37-38. Though a different image is given, the master, Emery, is the same.

Upper right corner chip, with loss to border. Wear to other corners. Two different images than this one of the Garibaldi brought $900 and $800 at the Siegel sale (1990).

$600.00


Clipper Ship Cards General Grant - Matchless ** Olivia Davis - William Tell**
ten pound island book company