[Sir James Anderson, captain of SS Great Eastern.] Autograph Letter Signed to J. C. Parkinson of the Daily News, on his return from laying first transatlantic cable, complaining of 'amateur advisers'. With East Indian Railway, Special Tourist Ticket

Sir James Anderson (1824-93), captain of SS Great Eastern during the laying of the first transatlantic telegraph cable in 1866 [Joseph Charles Parkinson; Isambard Kingdom Brunel]
Publication details: 
Anderson's letter: '”Great Eastern” | Augst. 24th. 1865'.

Four items from the papers of Joseph Charles Parkinson (1833-1908), journalist, civil servant and social reformer, contributor to the Daily News, All the Year Round, Temple Bar, and associate of Dickens and Wilkie Collins. The material relates to Parkinson's book 'The Ocean Telegraph to India: A Narrative and a Diary' (1870). The four items are laid down on a leaf removed from an album, with typed explanatory notes at the head of both pages. ONE: ALS (signed 'James Anderson') from Anderson to Parkinson, 24 August 1865. 3pp., 12mo. Bifolium.

[Voyage to Australia, 1912.] Autograph notebook of H. A. Butcher of Wrexham, containing account of voyage to Australia from England, in 1912. With details of 'A few friends we met on the "Orama" during our voyage to Sydney ex London October 25 1912'.

H. A. Butcher of Wrexham, Wales [SS Orama, 'Orient' line steam ship; Australia; Australiana]
Publication details: 
'[...] on The "Orama" during our voyage to Sydney [Australia] ex London [England] Oct 25. 1912'. [Disembarking at Melbourne, 2 December 1912.]

96pp., 12mo (15.5 x 9.5 cm.), in 'Note Book for Pen or Pencil Writing'. Comprising the account of the voyage on 75pp. at the back of the volume, and the names and details of fellow passengers on 21pp. at the front. Built in 1911, SS Orama was torpedoed and sunk in 1917 while serving as convoy escort. In good condition internally, on lightly aged paper, in aged and worn card covers. The front section is described inside the front cover: 'A few friends we met on the "Orama" during our voyage to Sydney ex London October 25 1912', and the 21pp.

1910 manuscript diary of the purser of, first, HMS Cornwall (with much golf played) and, second, SS Balmoral Castle, describing the Duke of Connaught's voyage to the Union of South Africa, to open its first Parliament on behalf of King George V.

[Purser's diary, Royal Navy Armoured Cruiser HMS Cornwall and SS Balmoral Castle; Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn; opening of first Parliament of the Union of South Africa, 1910; golf]
Publication details: 
19 January to 28 December 1910.

99pp., in 'Army & Navy Octavo Scribbling Diary (with a week on an opening) for 1910'. Good, on aged paper, in worn boards, with some preliminary leaves torn out, and a few childish scrawls by Irene and Pauline Knott (grandchildren of the author?) at beginning and end (not affecting text) . The author is intelligent and well-educated, pious and with a keen interest in sport, but there are few clues regarding his identity: his family is from Staines, and he trained at the Royal Naval College, Osborne. The itineraries of the two ships mentioned in this diary are as follows.

Three glass slides of photographs relating to the wreck of the SS Schiller off the Isles of Scilly, 1875: 'Lifeboat in which Survivors came ashore', 'Digging the last graves' and 'A funeral'.

[The wreck of the SS Schiller ('the Victorian Titanic'), off the Scilly Isles, 1875; German Transatlantic Steam Navigation Line]
Publication details: 
[1875.] Gibson & Sons, Penzance & Scilly Isles.

Three striking unfamiliar photographs (the last two in particular excellent compositions) of a significant historical event. The three slides are bound in 8 cm glass squares, with none of the glass shattered, and the images themselves in good condition, clear and unfaded. Each mount carries the stamp of the photographers Gibson & Sons. With numbered labels carrying a shelfmark. Each mount titled in manuscript. ONE: ' Schiller" wreck. Lifeboat in which Survivors came ashore'.

Coloured lithographic dioramic print, captioned 'Dawson's Diorama No. 4. The British Queen, a first rate Steem [sic] Ship, which on holding it up to the light changes to her Magesty [sic] Queen Victoria, attired in her Robes of State.'

T. Dawson, London printseller [Queen Victoria; SS British Queen; diorama; dioramic print; optical illusion; naval and maritime]
Publication details: 
Undated, but between 1839 and 1844. 'London: Published by T. Dawson, 29, Bedeord [sic, for 'Bedford'] St. Covent Garden.'

Dimensions of print roughly 13 x 17.5 cm. On original grey paper windowpane mount (22 x 28.5 cm). Engraved label (3 x 12.5 cm) beneath the print, with small remarque-style illustrations of the ship and the queen. The print itself is good, although aged and a little worn and spotted; the spotting and aging to the margins and mount is a little heavier. Attractive and unusual item, the image changing when held up to the light. The ship is depicted sailing on choppy seas, and the young queen seated with drapery around her on a verandah with stone balustrades and a landscape behind. Scarce.

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