FOR THIS SEASONS COLLECTION WE WERE INSPIRED BY THE EASE AND SOPHISTICATION WITH WHICH CLIPPERS CUT THROUGH THE WATER.
CLIPPER WE SALUTE YOU.
Clipper sailing ships were the jets of their age. Designed with sleek lines and built for speed, they had three masts with a square rig to propel them through the water, day or night, fair weather or foul.
Far from being a vessel that simply carried cargo, they dawned a new era of sea racing across continents, halving the time of sea records made them a headline grabbing record holder.
MAIDEN VOYAGE: Est. 1795-1815
ORIGIN: Baltimore, United States of America
The first notable reference to a Clipper ship in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia.
Exemplified in its original design, it gave birth to the Chasseur Clipper, launched at Fells Point, Baltimore, causing the legend that is known to be born for her incredible speeds.
Ann McKim was another example built in Baltimore and was the first attempt at building a larger swift vessel in the United States. Built by the famous Kennard & Williamson shipyard. Now she is more generally known as the original clipper ship. Increasing the size with with sharply raked stem, counter stern and square rig.
Scottish shipbuilders Alexander Hall and Sons developed the first Scottish Maid Clipper launched in 1839. Scottish Maid, more commonly referred to as the first British clipper ship, helping establish crucial trade and surpassed steam, engine and other hull adaptions later to come.
Influenced by Ann McKim earlier design, the Rainbow was born, the first extreme clipper ship. A faster, lighter and dynamically designed vessel to help ‘clip’ over the waves. A new pioneering speed age had begun.
The Flying Cloud Clipper ship, famously built by Donald McKay set the world’s sailing record for the fastest passage between New York and San Francisco, in 89 days 8 hours. She held this record for over 100 years, from 1854 to 1989.
Among the most notable clippers were the China clippers, also called Tea clippers or Opium clippers, designed to ply the trade routes between Europe and the East Indies. The last China clippers were acknowledged as the fastest sail vessels, continually setting new records, when fully rigged and riding a tradewind. The Great Tea Race of 1866 showcased their speed.
The British predominantly used tea clippers in order to get the valuable and time-sensitive cargo of tea back from the far-flung corners of China, India and Sri Lanka as quickly as possible. These China clippers are still also the fastest commercial sailing vessels ever made. Their speeds have been exceeded many times by modern yachts, but never by a commercial sail vessel. Only the fastest windjammers could attain similar speeds. The last example of this is the world famous Cutty Sark, preserved in dry dock at Greenwich, United Kingdom.