BUTTERSWORTH, After James Edward (circa 1817-1894)
Wreck of the U.S. Steam Ship "Arctic". Off Cape Race Wednesday September 27th. 1854
New York: Published by N. Currier, 1854. Tinted lithograph, coloured by hand, by Charles Parsons after Buttersworth (working from a sketch by James Smith), printed by N. Currier. Sheet size: 27 x 20 5/8 inches.
A dramatic image of a disaster at sea.
James Smith of Jackson, Missouri, supplied the original sketch of the scene. The 2,850-ton 'Arctic' was relatively luxurious and fast, with a top speed of over 12 knots, and along with the 'Atlantic', 'Pacific' and 'Baltic' formed the core of Collins Line fleet (the main American opponent of Cunard in the 1850s). The 'Arctic' on 'her homeward voyage from Liverpool, during dense fog... came in collision with the French iron propeller "Vesta", and was so badly injured that in about 5 hours she sank stern foremost, by which terrible calamity nearly 300 persons are supposed to have perished'. In fact 322 people drowned and only 86 were saved.
Conningham 679; Gale 7340.