The Old Print Shop

Helvetia. No Delay in Loading. Sutton & Co's Dispatch Line for San Francisco.


  • PUBLISHER: Published by George F. Nesbitt & Co., New York.

  • MEDIUM: Letterpress and wood engraving.


  • EDITION SIZE: Card size 3 3/8 x 5 15/16" (86 x 151mm).

  • DESCRIPTION: This clipper ship card advertises the clipper Helvetia, with the elaborate colored lettering of the ship's name as its primary adornment. The surrounding type is on a much smaller scale and with minimal emphasis in comparison to the ship's name. These clipper ship cards were first used as a smaller alternative to broadsides, following in the tradition of trading cards, and became very popular and widespread in the 1860's. The imagery on the card typically supported the name of the ship, and thematically would largely fall into stock categories established such as nautical themes, women, knights/warriors, mythology and folklore, and patriotic themes, to name a few. The size, cargo capacity, destination, master's name, and not least of all, the word 'clipper' (complete with a bold, descriptive byline) would usually be incorporated into the design. Their primary aim was to inform prospective passengers and freight shippers of the ship's imminent departure.


  • CONDITION: Good condition.


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