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by Antique Ship Paintings

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Designed by:
Robert Steele
Built for:
Shaw, Maxton & Co.
852 tons
Built at:
Greenock, Scotland
Composite ship (iron frame, wood planking)
Launch Date:
Tea, silk, coal, rice


The annual clipper ship race from China with the first teas of the season always caused great excitement, and the Ariel was one of the few oak and teak ships built especially for this purpose.

Her first captain, John Keay, said of her, "Ariel was a perfect beauty to every nautical man who saw her. In symmetrical grace and proportion she satisfied the eye, and put all in love with her without exception."

In 1872, Ariel left London bound for Sydney. Unfortunately, the beautiful tea ship never arrived and no trace of her was ever found. She was said to be a "ticklish" ship to handle in the "roaring forties" and it was supposed that she had "broached to" and "foundered" (hit by a giant wave and sunk).

Here, talented artist Efren Erese spotlights this fine ship as she traverses the high seas.