Sailor's Woolwork Woolie of The Tea clipper, Ariel, Signed C. Ames, Circa 1870

The Ariel sails from right to left in high sea having just past a smaller sailing yacht. The sea is in shades of green and white. The cloudy sky is a light blue. The ship flies a banner from the main mast with the name Ariel, a Union Jack from the fore mast and a light blue banner with the letter A. A red ensign flies from the stern of the Ariel. The ship also has a nameplate to her side. Most unusually, the sail has signed his name in thread to the lower left- C Ames.


In 1866 and 1868, the Ariel won the "Tea Race" from Asia to London arriving first in London docks with her cargo of China Tea.


The woolie is made with a cross stitch.



The name ARIEL is known from Biblical times and also from Shakespeare's time. However, the seafaring tradition of Ariel goes back to the famous Clipper ship ARIEL. Ariel's history is as follows:

Robert Steele & Co., Greenock, Scotland built ARIEL as an extreme composite clipper ship in 1865. Her dimensions were:
197' 4" long X 33' 9" Wide with a 21' draft.


The tonnage was 1058.73 tons with an 853 NRT. She had 100 tons of fixed iron ballast molded into the limbers. There is an undated sail-plan in the Science Museum in London that shows her rigged with double topsails and main skysail.

The chronology was as follows:

June 29, 1865
Launched at the shipyard of Robert Steele & Co., Greenock for Shaw, Lowther, Maxton & Co., and commenced work on the China tea trade. October 14, and also January 6, 1865 Sailed from Gravesend, Kent to Hong Kong in the record 79 days 21 hours, pilot to pilot or 83 days anchor to anchor, against the monsoon.


In the 'Great Tea' race of 1866, 'Ariel' docked at East India docks 20 minutes before the 'Taeping' after a long and hard race 'Ariel' won the day and the race fair and square.

'Ariel' came in second after the 'Sir Lancelot' beaten only by hours. This race lasted 99 days from Foo-Chow in the famous Tea race of 1867.

In this year 'Ariel' arrived in London and was the first ship to enter the port and beat the 'Taeping' by one hour.

Dealer Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge, Inc.
Date: 1870
Origin England
Measurements 15 1/2 inches x 23 inches x 1 1/4 inches
Inventory View Dealer's Inventory
Price 4200
Contact Paul Vandekar, 212-308-2022 or

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