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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tea at Sea


I work for a law firm that specializes in, among other things, Maritime Law. Our offices are located only blocks from Charleston Harbor and a seafaring spirit is evident here thanks to dozens of vintage maritime prints scattered throughout the building.

One of our conference rooms is named the Montague Dawson room. Montague Dawson was a British painter known for his paintings of sailing ships - in particular, clipper ships. Around the walls of the Montague Dawson room are signed prints of some of his most famous works, including one called Thermopylae Leaving Foochow (above).

Thermopylae was a clipper ship built in 1868 in Scotland. She was designed for the China tea trade, and set many speed records. In 1872, Thermopylae left Shanghai, in company with the Cutty Sark, with a cargo of tea for London. After racing each other for two weeks, the Cutty Sark lost her rudder. Thermopylae eventually arrived in London - seven days ahead of her rival. Though the Cutty Sark made some good performances, she never managed to outrun the Thermopylae.

3 comments:

Steph said...

Wow - what a cool thing to be surrounded by tea references in your place of work!

Denise LeCroy said...

Yes - it's the only reason I agreed to take the job. (Just kidding!)

Angela McRae said...

What great info on tea clippers! On my (so far one and only) trip to England, I remember going to Greenwich just to visit Cutty Sark, standing on deck and thinking THIS ... IS ... SO ... COOL! Sort of a mecca for tea lovers!

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