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The Posner Maritime Art Collection
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SS Kätie
by Antonio Jacobsen
Oil on canvas

The steamer Kätie, of 1880 (2790 tons), along with Martha, of 1884 (2107 tons), were built for the Stettiner Lloyd Line of Germany.  This line was established to take immigrants from Stettin (now Poland) to New York, via Scandinavian ports.  The severe shipping slump of the 1870s spelled the end of a similar service provided by the Baltischer Lloyd Line.  Stettiner Lloyd Line was established in 1880 but only lasted until 1886.  Kätie was built by Alexander Stephen and Sons of Glasgow, Scotland. 

When Stettiner Lloyd became insolvent, Stephen and Sons took Kätie back.  Interestingly, Kätie sailed for the Furness Line in 1887; then became the Dunkeld in 1890, but this a different Dunkeld than is the subject of another Jacobsen painting in this collection.    

SS Dunkeld, ex Kätie, sank off Lobos Island on March 25, 1895.  She was carrying a load of coal from Cardiff, England for Buenos Aires and struck a rock in the early morning.  All except the Third Mate and Steward, who were afraid to swim for a lifeboat, were rescued by the French Steamer Portena.  Dunkeld was owned by John Gunn and others of Cardiff.


This is quite an unusual painting for Jacobsen, owing both to the short-lived Stettiner Lloyd Line, but also because Jacobsen usually painted ships in profile.  Bow-on paintings are somewhat rare in Jacobsen's repertoire.  He has shown her with a barkentine rig and multiple sails.  Kätie appears to be stopping to pick up a pilot, as Pilot Schooner Number 11 (probably Phantom, of New York) is depicted on the left side of the painting.  The American Flag flies from the foremast, indicating Kätie is enroute to New York and the Stettiner Lloyd house flag flies from the main mast.  The house flag has the American flag in the canton area, which is quite unusual.  Jacobsen created this painting in 1885.

Click here to find a full bio of Antonio Jacobsen.





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