Wealthy owners of sailing vessels commissioned images of their ships, just as landowners hired artists to paint pictures of their houses. Much of Lane's income came from executing such works. Here, the artist painted "Antelope" (identifiable through her signal flags), as she appeared on her 1843 maiden voyage from East Boston to Asia. "Antelope" was one of the fastest ships trading between Boston, India, and China, a route that required extraordinary speed due to unpredictable weather and frequent pirate activity. Asian trade-in tea, fabric, and opium-established significant fortunes for many New England merchants.