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Historical Materials: Vessels (Specific / Named)
The brig "Antelope," 370 tons, was built at East Boston by Samuel Hall in 1843 for Russell and Co. of Boston. She was used in the opium trade with China. She was very fast, enabling owners to have extensive control over the opium trade. This painting, made by Lane in 1863, twenty years after "Antelope's" launch, is apparently based on an earlier, contemporary painting possibly by a Chinese artist. (1) The "Antelope" was built under his supervision for Russell & Co., in which he was then a partner. (2)
Another ship with the same name, a propeller steamer, was built in 1855, also for Russell & Co., for then-opening trade with Japan.
– Erik Ronnberg
1. Some Ships of the Clipper Ship Era (Boston: State Street Trust Co., 1913), 12.
2. R.B. Forbes, Personal Reminiscences (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 3rd. ed., rev. 1892), 211, 383, also "list of vessels and business partners."
Other Merchants and Sea Captains of Old Boston, Boston: State Street Trust Company
Table within book
From R. B. Forbes, Personal Reminiscences (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., first published 1876).
Forbes House Museum, Milton, Mass.
Lane's depiction of "Antelope" was based on an earlier painting, probably contemporary to the vessel and very possibly made by a Chinese artist. This painting was reproduced in Old Shipping Days in Boston (State Street Trust, 1918), p. 17, and in Robinson and Dow, The Sailing Ships of New England (first series, Salem, 1922), plate 13.
– Erik Ronnberg