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Art Marine

A Black Ball Packet - Roger Desoutter RSMA

A Black Ball Packet - Roger Desoutter RSMA

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The Black Ball Line was founded by a group of New York Quaker merchants headed by Jeremiah Thompson, and included Isaac Wright & Son (William), Francis Thompson, and Benjamin Marshall. All were Quakers except Marshall. The line initially consisted of four packet ships, the Amity, Courier, Pacific and the James Monroe. All of these were running between Liverpool, England and New York City. This first scheduled trans-Atlantic service was founded in 1817. In operation for some 60 years, it took its name from its flag, a black ball on a red background.

In 1851, James Baines & Co. of Liverpool entered the packet trade using the same name and flag as the New York company, despite its protests. Thus, for about twenty years, two "Black Ball lines" under separate ownership were operating in direct competition on the transatlantic packet trade. James Baines & Co. also operated ships running between Liverpool and Australia, including famous clipper ships such as Champion of the Seas, James Baines, Lightning, Indian Queen, Marco Polo and Sovereign of the Seas.
The Black Ball Line is mentioned in several sea shanties, such as "Blow the Man Down," "Homeward Bound", and "Hurrah for the Black Ball Line."

Original oil on canvas signed lower right, framed.

Canvas size 20 x 30 inches (51cm x 76cm)

Frame size 26 x 36 inches (66cm x 91.5cm)



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