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The Tweed, Colombo Harbour, Ceylon, 1888, 1974

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 365/5/24
The Tweed in Colombo Harbour, 1888
The Tweed in Colombo Harbour, 1888

Scope and Contents

Oil on canvas painting, 102 x 76 cm, commissioned from the marine artist Sidney Fever. It depicts the tea clipper ‘The Tweed’ about to sail from Colombo Harbour on 8 April 1888, where she had called during her voyage from China to New York. Weatherstone meticulously researched the ship and harbour in contemporary plans, prints and photographs to ensure the painting’s authenticity, and his list of sources is filed with the collection.
‘The Tweed’ began life as the armed paddle steamer ‘Punjab’, built in Bombay and launched in 1854, serving in Persia and the Indian Mutiny. In 1862, she was converted to a fully rigged sailing ship with the removal of her paddle and guns, and renamed ‘The Tweed.’ The ship was dismasted in a gale off Algoa Bay in July 1888, and broken up soon after.
The painting looks out across Colombo Harbour east-north-east from the Old Customs Sheds, with Tamil dockyard workers loading tea chests and other cargo into lighters. Construction of the harbour had been carried out between 1875 and 1883, providing safe anchorage behind its three breakwaters for approximately 50 ships. During the final decades of the nineteenth century, the ‘Great Ceylon Tea Trade’, mainly shipped from Colombo, would replace the import of tea from China.


  • Creation: 1974

Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Language of Materials


Physical Description

art work


Fever, Sidney Richard (1931-1995)

Finding aid date

2017-09-21 10:43:44+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom