April 24, 2015

Era of Sail - Clipper Ships

Australia Post released a set of 4 stamp depicting 19th century clipper ships that sailed in Australian waters on 17th February 2015.

From the earliest days of European exploration, sailing ships were crucial in the development of Australia. Sailing ships carried everything that settlers needed for survival. The journey was often long and dangerous, ranging between six and 13 weeks, depending on weather conditions. Other hazards were fire and the difficulties of maintaining hygiene.

Clipper ships were known as the greyhounds of the sea from their beginnings in the 1840s and represented the pinnacle of sailing ship technology. By the 1850s, the use of clipper ships on the England to Australia route was prominent, with most setting sail for Melbourne. These sleek sailing ships represented major advancements in design, enabling them to reach destinations more quickly.

Frances Henty – was constructed in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1852 and named after the wife of Thomas Henty. The vessel carried passengers, gold and wool between London and Victoria until at least 1869. The stamp is based on a painting by EC Moore, titled The Frances Henty, 1854.

Phoenician – was the first clipper ship to come to Australia, arriving in Port Jackson on 21 July 1849 - taking 91 days from England. The stamp design is based on a painting by Frederick Garling, titled Clipper barque Phoenician, 1850s.

Arabian – was one of many clipper ships that sailed in Australian waters. The stamp design is based on the 1840s lithograph by John Raphael Isaac, after a painting by CP Williams.

Monk chester – was a clipper barque built in 1865 by Messrs. Peverill for Messrs. A. Strong of North Shields, England. The stamp design is based on the 1865 painting by John Scott, a noted English oil painter from Newcastle.

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