Sigyn, built in Göteborg 1887, now a museum ship in Turku, is the last remaining wooden barque used for trade across the oceans. At the time she was built there were thousands of similar vessels, but she was one of the last ones built. She was quite small even for her time, considering she was built for long-distance trade, but well built and considered fast and beautiful. In these times the steam ships were taking over the most important routes; the Suez canal was already built and the Panama canal was planned. The tonnage of steam ships passed that of sailing ships in 1890, ten and thirty years later in Sweden and Finland respectively. On the other hand this was the time when big barques of steel were built. Sigyn was planned for another niche: the small size and small draught made her suited to also use small remote harbours.
The first decade Sigyn sailed on the Atlantic on tramp trade, mostly with wood (pine, spruce, pitch pine, mahogany, cedar), but also e.g. coal, probably sugar, once even hay. In 1897 she made one journey to Bangkok. After 1900 she sailed mostly in European waters.
As representative for "nautical circles" Otto Andersson, rector of Åbo Akademi, proposed 1936 the foundation of a maritime museum in Turku. A museum ship was needed and Sigyn was soon considered the best alternative. At that time there were only a few museum ships worldwide and Sigyn was to be the first in Finland. The picture on the card is a painting of the Sigyn by R. Chappel and is in The Maritime Museum of the Abo Akademi. This card was sent to me by Sipi.