Examples of Nautical and Maritime Antiques for Research and Education

Decorated Ostrich Egg

Ship Portrait of the British Steamer "Karamania", executed in Oil on an Ostrich Egg, South Africa ca. 1885-90, the egg mounted with a brass feet with leaf decoration and a final mount - Total height 36 cm (14 inch), Diameter of egg 14 cm (5 1/2 inch) - patina at egg and feet, at the (undecorated) back of the egg one older repair, cleaned and small loss of paint in the picture restored, in good condition - Maritime Museum Collection, USA

Note: The British steamship "Karamania" was built in 1883 by D. & W. Henderson in Glasgow, Scotland and owned by Barrow S.S. Co. in Barrow, UK. It was measured at 2045 tons and appears in Lloyds Shipping Registers (TM) from 1885 until 1900. Decorated Ostrich Eggs - originally decorated in the 19th Century with a ship portrait - appears quite rarely on the market. It appears that there was only one or a few artists only in Capetown, South Africa who used this medium. The execution of the painting is ok but does not show an academy or artist background, e.g. such as the Captain`s Cups (porcelain mugs with ship portraits) done in Germany. This can be more considered as a sort of Maritime Folk Art. Nevertheless it is from our opinion an unusual and interesting item for a marine or ship portrait collection, especially because a large number of 19th C. ships stopped at Capetown, but the Captains did rarely bring anything with them from this area.

Ship Portrait on Ostrich Egg (ca. 1885)
* Photo Copyright is with the FineArtEmporium. *

Presented by the FineArtEmporium in Hamburg.

Ship Portrait of the British Steamer "Karamania", South Africa ca. 1885
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Following are shown some more photos of the item:


and following is shown a photo of the brass feet:


Last photo shows the back with the old repair:


A charming maritime antique from South Africa.