Just a short one today. I’m busy.
Trying to get myself and my material ready
for the big New York Antiquarian Book Fair which will take place March 9-12, and the National Ephemera Society Conference and Fair the week after that, followed by a few weeks in Ireland, visiting old friends, working on my next book, and not wanting to go home.
I’ve also been doing the preliminary work on a project I’m very excited about – a catalog and show of paintings, photos, and prints called “Drawn from the Sea.”
This will be a joint effort of Ten Pound Island and Howland & Co. and it will take shape as an actual exhibition, opening the 2017 season at Flatrocks Gallery
in April and May, as a hard-copy catalog to be issued in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition, and as a virtual exhibition and catalog on our website.
You’ll be hearing a lot more about all these schemes and adventures in weeks to come. For now, here are a couple of nifty items I just cataloged for the New York show. I figure they’ll go side by side in my front counter case, sort of a two-fer.
If you don’t buy them first…
Clipper Ship Sailing Card. Great Republic. One of the greatest of all clipper ship sailing cards. The Great Republic was built in 1853 by Donald McKay. She was, at that time, the largest merchant sailing vessel constructed in the United States, but she burned almost immediately. The reconstructed version was still one of the biggest and fastest of her day. Fittingly this card is one of the crown jewels of all clipper ship cards. It measures 8 1/4 x 5 3/4 inches. The front shows the ship in full color surrounded by draped flags and patriotic images against a gold ground. It is also is one of the very few cards also printed on the back. This information tells us that Capt. Limeburner was her commander and that she was scheduled to depart Pier 28 in the East River. This may have been her 1859 trip, in which she departed November 23, and made San Francisco in a commendable 109 days. This copy shows edge chipping and oxidation, a faint crack in the printed surface running in from the left margin, and water staining on the back affecting the tonality of the printing on the front. Still, a good copy of an iconic card. A copy of this card brought $4500 in the Siegel sale of 1990. $5000
(McLean, Duncan.). Description of the Largest Ship in the World, the New Clipper Great Republic, of Boston. Designed, built and Owned by Donald McKay, and Commanded by Capt. L. McKay.. Boston: Eastburn’s Press, 1853. 24 pp. 6 b/w folding lithograph plates. First and only edition of a rare pamphlet describing the greatest ship of its day. The Great Republic, launched in 1853, was the largest merchant sailing ship ever constructed in the United States. This pamphlet, in its own way, is a grand production. It features six folding plates of plans and lines of the great ship, two of which open out to more than 3 feet in length. Quite a rare item, not in MacDonald, Brewington, NYPL list, or Scott. The second plate is separated at one fold, bur complete. Otherwise a very good copy, bound in original wrappers, which are lightly chipped. Front wrapper detached but present. $1500