Station: [13] Two Paintings from the Estate of Josias Andreasen

M: When the whaling industry declined in the 19th century, many sailors from Föhr switched to merchant shipping and were often away from home for several years.
Some became captains on the tall ships of well-known shipping companies such as Sloman and Laiez in Hamburg. Others sailed under the flags of far-off countries, among them Captain Josias Andreasen. He spent the years from 1866 to 1878 on the high seas in South-East Asia. Take a look at the paintings of ships in the display case. The vessels all fly an elephant flag, the emblem of the Bangkok ship-owners. The fully-rigged three-master "Resolute" was painted by the well-known marine artist Mathias Truelsen from Altona. The other two pictures show the brig "Railway" and the three-masted barque "Seames Bride”. These two paintings are from China. A captain who’d been master of a particular ship for a while might well want a picture of it for his home. The many portraits of ships here at the Frisian Museum are a reminder of the successful seafaring past of many families here on Föhr.

F: Josias Andreasen was born in 1817 on the island of Rom, north of Sylt, and later lived on Föhr because he’d married a woman of Wyk called Christine Maria Christiansen. He spent his retirement with her and their three children in house No. 9 on the Sandwall esplanade. There’s still a memorial plaque on the building to commemorate the family.
The showcase not only contains everyday objects related to seafaring, memorabilia from various countries, tableware and silver jewellery, but also some personal documents: for example, a certificate dated 1855 from the "Grand Lodge of Scotland". Membership of a masonic lodge served as a kind of insurance policy. Captains who were in difficulty could rely on assistance from fellow masons anywhere in the world – though it was provided no more than three times over the course of a lifetime.

Fotos: © Dr.-Carl-Häberlin-Friesen-Museum