Historical information

This framed print of the famous clipper ship “Schomberg” is associated with Flagstaff Hill’s collection of artefacts from the wreck of the “Schomberg”. The original was painted in 1992 by maritime artist Philip J. Gray. This limited edition print is number 9/1000.


The Schomberg was a luxury ship built in 1855 to bring immigrants from the UK to Australia in superior comfort. The voyage could take three months or longer but Captain ‘Bully’ Forbes thought that he could sail the Schomberg from Liverpool to Melbourne in a record time of 60 days.

On October 6th 1855 the Schomberg left Liverpool on its maiden voyage. She carried 430 passengers plus 3000 tons cargo including rail lines for Geelong and iron for a bridge in Melbourne.

After 78 days at sea, on December 27th, Schomberg ran aground near Peterborough, Victoria. All on board were rescued the next day by the passing steamer SS Queen.

Gray is well known for his depiction of maritime history. His meticulous attention to detail shows the enormity of the immigrant clipper with its huge billowing sails compared to the tiny figures at work on the deck. The busy crew can be seen attending to the rigging, as can a group of sailors working on the bow under supervision. He identifies the company logo of the Black Ball Ship Line by the flapping white flag with its black circle.

Divers from Flagstaff Hill including Peter Ronald (former director) salvaged artefacts and personal effects from the wreck, to be preserved and displayed. Amongst these is the famous Schomberg Diamond ring.

ABOUT THE ARTIST – Philip James Gray

“Philip is one of Australia’s leading maritime artists and his meticulous research and social commentary paintings of ships, such as, the Loch Ard and Schomberg form an important part of Warrnambool’s Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum.” [ref. Dr Marion Manifold, Artist and Art Historian, 2014]

Philip James Gray was born in London but has lived most of his life in Australia.
He graduated from a London school of art as an illustrator, specialising in technical and scientific illustration as well as other commercial and applied art. He was also a student for a time of Fyffe Christie - British figurative artist, mural painter and humanitarian – who had a great influence on his career.

Philip has always worked as a professional artist and illustrator. Many publications on maritime history have featured his work. His paintings have been released and sold all over the world as limited edition prints. The State Library of Victoria’s ‘Latrobe Collection’ holds two of his paintings. His street painting of ‘The Ashes Contest’ decorates the brick wall of Old Bakery Laneway in Sunbury and a Sunbury café owner commissioned him to paint the ‘Sunbury Pop Festival’ as a remembrance of local history. [ref. Sunbury Leader, Nov 15 2013]

Philip has been an active member of the Sunbury Art Society in Victoria for several years, serving on the committee for some of that time and being involved in exhibitions. He enjoys helping new artists and sharing his skills and experience.


The subject of the sailing ship “Schomberg” is significant for is connection with the 1800s vessel “Schomberg” and the historic role the ship, and other similar ships, played to transport migrants and goods into Australia. The print is significant as it is a limited edition of an Australian maritime artist.

Physical description

Print in gilt timber frame. "The Colonial Clipper Schomberg" by Australian maritime artist Philip J Gray, 1992. Signed and numbered, Limited Edition print 9/1000. Depicts clipper ship “Schomberg”, in full sail at sea with land in background. Backing of frame has illegible adhesive label and pencilled text.

Inscriptions & markings

Stamp In pencil “FLAGSTAFF HILL” and “FLAGSTAFF C”.
Illegible text on adhesive label.
Signature [Philip J Gray]
Stamped as a limited edition of SCHOMBERG
Handwritten edition "9/1000"