The East Indiaman 'Earl of Balcarres'
The painting has the additional title, 'The East Indiaman Earl of Balcarres off the coast of China' and is dated to 1828. The 'Earl of Balcarres' was built for the East India Company in Bombay in 1815, and was constructed of Malabar teak. The natural oils within that high quality timber helped to preserve it, keep vessels made of it watertight and also resisted the depredations of the teredo worm. The vessel, of 1,417 tons, had twenty-six guns and crew of 130 men. The 'Earl of Balcarres' remained in the service of the Company until 1833 and undertook nine voyages. Between February 1828 and July 1829 the vessel visited Bengal and China under the command of Captain Bryan Broughton, the painting depicts the East Indiaman during that voyage. In September 1834 the vessel was sold to Thomas A. Shutter for £10,700. The National Maritime Museum acquired the painting by the gift of the family of Brian (sic) Broughton, with other items related to him.
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