Clipper Ship Parthenope
Artist unknown
Oil on canvas

The sailing ship Parthenope, of Liverpool, was identified by the name on her bow, and confirmed by her signal flags, NVWR, flying from the gaff.   The Signal Flags of the Commercial Code (later the International Code) were found in the 1884 British Code List.  The house flag of the ship's owners flies from the mainmast: a rectangular, red flag with a Kangaroo in a white circle.  This is the house flag of the Australasia Shipping Company, owned by Gracie, Beazley and Company of Liverpool.  

Parthenope was built by R & J Evans, in Liverpool in April 1875.  She was built of iron, 250 feet in length, and was 1,563 registered tons.  Her Official Number was 70948.  Parthenope was first owned by Heap & Sons, and was one of the Heap Clippers.  About 1881-82, she was taken over by the Australasia Shipping Co.  Her double female figurehead, one on either side of the stem, is quite unusual.  Parthenope was sold to Italian interests in 1897 and renamed Pellegrina O.  She was posted missing in 1907 carrying coal from Newcastle, NSW, Australia, to Antofagasta, Chile.

The Steamship Historical Society of America is dedicated to the history and preservation of powered vessels; however, it is the first to acknowledge that sailing vessels are the ancestors of powered vessels and therefore, sailing vessels are important to the history of the powered vessel.   For this reason it is appropriate for paintings of sailing ships to be depicted in this Museum.


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