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S. S. HELEN DENNY was an iron-hulled ship launched in 1866. She spent her working life in the New Zealand trade. She had a succession of owners until becoming a coal hulk in Lyttleton and eventually scuttled in 1948.SThe artist is Reginald Arthur Borstel (1875-1922) in his well-finished house style for the firm of Lahe of course was a frequent visitor to Australian ports.idlaw and Harris, Sydney shipping agents and photographers who subcontracted Borstel as their artist. The painting is unsigned as became usual for Borstel as he was their sole artist. Their relationship was very close, with Laidlaw, Borstel's landlord.

Borstel is regarded as the best of the "pierhead painters" working at the end of sail-based commercial shipping in Sydney. He started his painting career in the port of Newcastle and moved to Sydney in 1901. He became the exclusive artist for Laidlaw and Harris from 1909 until his death from tuberculosis in 1922.

The Union Street address was left in 1919.

The painting dates between 1909 and 1919.

Oil on studio board.

285 x 430 mm.


Signed lower left. Inscribed Laidlaw and Harris lower right.

S.S. HELEN DENNY. Reginald Borstel c 1900

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