West Sea Company

15. Early Photography

Prices in U.S. Dollars are in GREEN


15.27  IMPORTANT LAUNCHING PHOTOGRAPH.  Original, framed black and white silver plate photograph of the launching of the famous schooner CHARLES W. LAWSON.  The photograph is inscribed “F. R. S. & E. CO. JULY 10, 1902” and is identified in pencil script on the original card, lower center, “Launching Thomas W. Lawson.”  The image captures the instant in time when the sponsor cracks the traditional bottle of champagne on the ship’s stem.  Several gentlemen in bolder hats and 3 women in their flowing bonnets look from the bunting-draped launching platform.  In an uncanny foretelling of the doomed vessel’s fate, at least one man in the foreground has removed his hat in reverence to the occasion.  The image measures 7 ¼ by 9 ½ inches sight, mounted on its original dark gray card, matted under old wavy glass in a period walnut Eastlake frame with gold liner measuring 13 ¾ by 15 ½ inches overall.  Excellent condition.  Ready to hang.  An American maritime museum piece 116 years old!   195

The sister image to this photograph is held in the public collection of the massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The only 7-masted sailing ship ever launched, the schooner was the namesake of Boston businessman and “copper baron” THOMAS W. LAWSON.   Built by the Fore River Ship & Engine Building Company at their yard in Quincy, Massachusetts the huge steel vessel had a length overall of 475 feet, a beam of 50 feet, a draft of 28 feet and displaced 5,218 tons.  She had a crew of 18 men. Designed as a bulk carrier for the Pacific trade, LAWSON carried both liquid and solid cargos.  But it remained in the Atlantic making voyages as a collier then oil carrier between Texas and the East Coast.   On December 13, 1907 en route London from Philadelphia, LAWSON was loaded with a cargo of paraffin oil.  As she neared the Scilly Isles southwest of Great Britain, the giant ship encountered gale force winds.  In an effort to wait out the impending storm, the captain let go the anchors near Shag Rock just past Bishop Rock Light.  In the early morning hours of December 14 the storm intensified and both anchor chains parted, causing the ship to slam into nearby rocks, dismasting her.  She was a total loss.  Only 2 of the ship’s company survived the disaster. 


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15.23  SAILING SHIP CREW PHOTO.  Original late 19th C. silver plate photograph depicting the entire crew assembled on deck in front of a massive square-rigged mast.  Judging by the large number of crewmen and their uniforms this was a military ship.  The officers are seated with the distinguished Captain front and center.  Flanking him are his officers and a civilian in a white suit, perhaps a dignitary posing for the occasion.  At least 2 women can be seen posing in the  photo.  Behind are approximately 100 sailors in the flat hats perched on stanchions, davits, one of the ship’s lifeboats and ventilators.  All manner of blocks, tackle and lines surround the scene.  One sailor can be seen holding a life ring with the visible letters “INC” perhaps preceded by a “K.”   This is undoubtedly the ship’s name which is also visible but indistinct on several of the sailors’ hat ribbons.  This large antique image measures 8 by 11 inches sight and is contained under glass in its original decorative oblong mat bearing the photographer’s signature “Nolken & Petersen, AARHUS.”  It is surrounded by a fancy gilt liner housed in its original oak frame measuring 18 by 21 inches.  Excellent overall condition noting some minor losses to the gilded liner.  The photograph itself is perfect. WAS 195  NOW! 79 Special Packaging

 Aarhus is a principle port city in the country of Denmark and the second largest city in that country.  With research the ship could be one of a few square-rigged man-o-wars in the Danish  Navy  at the turn of the last century, and judging by its size, one of the most important.

A quick search on the Internet indicates there exists a small black and white photograph of the “Glassmakers Choral Society, Arhus” taken in 1906.  Measuring only 2 by 5 inches, it is attributed to “Hans Nolken Petersen.”


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15.21 FAMOUS BATTLESHIP PHOTO.  Original framed sepia tone photograph dating from the very early 1900’s clearly depicting the famous battleship USS OHIO ( BB-12) conducting speed trials during her shakedown, late September 1904 in San Francisco Bay.  This large format image provides a port broadside view of the vessel under a full head of steam in calm waters belching black smoke from her distinctive triple coal-fired funnels.  She flies two cone shapes from her foremast indicating “special operations” and the American ensign from her aftermast.  This clear photograph shows every one of the ship’s decks crowded with hundreds of crewmen viewing the spectacle.  Since the event did not require the participation of Deck, Operations and Supply departments, the men were freed to witness the event.  The Oakland coastline is readily visible in the distance.  The image measures 10 ½ by 13 ¼ inches sight and is housed under old wavy glass in its original dark hardwood frame measuring 16 1/8 by 19 ¼ inches.  The back is equipped with a stout cord for hanging.  Perfect untouched original condition.   A genuine old photograph 113 years old, ready to hang. 295 Special Packaging

USS OHIO (BB-12) was a Maine class pre-dreadnought battleship, the third ship of her class and the third ship in the U.S. Navy to be named for the 17th state.  She was laid down by the Union Iron Works shipyard in San Francisco in April 1899,  launched in May 1901, and was commissioned on October 4, 1904.  She was armed with a main battery of four 12-inch guns and attained a top speed of 18 knots.

OHIO began her service in the Asiatic Fleet until 1907.  Returning to the United States in December, she joined the Great White Fleet for its world cruise into early 1909.  Following the cruise she was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet.  In 1914 she was sent to Mexico to protect American interests during the Mexican Revolution.  During World War I she served as an American training ship in 1917 and 1918.  Obsolete by war’s end, OHIO was decommissioned in July 1919, and sold for scrap in March 1923 under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty.

Displacement:    12,927 tons
Length:    393 ft 10 in
Beam:    72 ft 3 in
Draft:    23 ft 10 in
Shaft Power:  16,000 hp
Propulsion:    2 × 4-cylinder triple expansion reciprocating engines
Speed:    18 knots
Complement:    561 officers and men
Armament:    4 × 12 in/40 caliber guns
16 × 6 in/50 cal guns
 8 × 3-pounders
 6 × 1-pounders
 2 ×  submerged 18 inch torpedo tubes

Belt: 8 to 11 in
Turrets: 12 in
Casemates: 6 in
Conning tower: 10 in


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15.22  EARLY PRE-LAUNCH PHOTO.  Amazing, original black and white photo of a huge ship on the ways ready to be launched.  On the reverse it is identified as the “(SS) RIPOGENUS” built in Rockland, Maine in 1919.  It had a length of 267 feet, a breadth of 92.1 feet, a depth of 25.8 feet and displaced 2369 tons.  In this very unusual image the huge ship appears to be straddling the builder’s quarters.  Part of the dockyard can be seen on the right while remnants of the build including a wagon can be seen on the left.  This large wooden hull vessel, one of the last ever built, has a classic clipper bow with scrollwork trailboard.  The 3-tiered superstructure is also very unusual in that the topmost pilothouse looks to be of the type more commonly associated with tugboats!  The perfect image is mounted on its original heavy card.  The image measures 6 ¼ by 8 inches and the card is 10 by 12 inches.  Sealed under protective shrink wrap atop a thick foam core backing.  95

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15.21  FAMOUS RIVERBOAT PHOTOGRAPH.  Original, commercially-produced photographic representation of the famed stern wheel river boat  GEORGE C. GREENE.  It depicts a port broadside view of the grand vessel underway belching black coal smoke as it passes the river bank in the background.  Below the main image are the identified portraits of Tom R. Green, Master, and Captain Mary R. Greene.  Signed by their own hand in period ink are the signatures of Tom R. Green, and Mary B. Greene, among others.  The actual image of the steamboat measures 5 ¼ by 9 ¼ inches with the entire presentation being 8 by 9 ½ inches.  Perfect original condition, mounted under shrink wrap on a foam core backing.  The GREEN was converted to oil in 1936.  This image clearly depicts the boat prior to that conversion.  95

The stern paddle wheeler was built by the Howard Ship Yards & Dock Company at Jeffersonville, Indiana, for the Eagle Packet Company and launched in 1923.  She was christened CAPE GIRADEAU on April 24, 1924.  She had a length of 201 feet, a beam of 38 feet.  A true, traditional stern wheel riverboat, she was initially employed in the packet trade carrying passengers and freight between Louisville, Kentucky and St. Louis, Missouri, along with annual trips to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

In 1935 she was sold to Greene Line for $50,000 and renamed GORDON C. GREENE, in honor of the founder of the company.  She operated as a tourist boat on the Ohio River between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, while still making annual trips to New Orleans.  In 1936 her Captain, Thomas R. Greene added an extra sun deck, increasing the number of passenger cabins and converted her from coal to fuel oil.  As time and the ravages of water borne service made their mark, the boat suffered a series of mechanical breakdowns which lead to her withdrawal from service in 1951.

In 1952 she was sold again, to eventually pass through a succession of owners.  First, under the name SARA LEE, she was converted to a floating hotel at Portsmouth, Ohio.  Soon afterward she was renamed RIVER QUEEN and served as a floating restaurant in Owensboro, Kentucky.   Not long after she was fitted out as a tourist attraction in Bradenton, Florida.  In 1954 her boilers were removed.  In 1960 she was towed to New Orleans to be converted into a night club, but ended up as a restaurant on the Mississippi at Hannibal, Missouri.  In 1964 she was sold for the last time to owners in St. Louis as a bar and restaurant.  There, on the morning of December 3, 1967, RIVER QUEEN met her ignominious demise, sinking at the pier.

This notable steamship appeared in several famous feature length films including, "Steamboat Round the Bend" (1935), "Gone with the Wind" (1939) and "The Kentuckian" (1955).

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15.20  FAMOUS  PHOTO GROUPING.   Matched set of 5 original silverplate black and white photographs of the famous 4-masted lumber schooner MARCONI wrecked on the Oregon Coast.  The first shows a close-up of the starboard hull hard aground on the beach.  It is captioned in the photographer’s own hand “FOUR MASTED SCHR. “MARCONI” BOUND FOR CHILI, S.A. WRECKED MAR 23, 1903. NEAR CAPE ARAGO. 243.”   The second is an aerial view of the wrecked vessel awash in the surf entitled “WRECK OF THE “MARCONI.” 237- “   The third, broader view with the beach and the tree line in the background reads, “MARCONI” WRECKED MAR 23.09. 236.”  The fourth shows the ill-fated ship on the beach listing to port with her masts in tatters, the inscription in the photographer’s hand reads, “”MARCONI” ON THE BEACH – 240.”  The fifth images shows the doomed ship as no more than a pile of timbers and wreckage on the beach with Point Arago in the background.   It reads “MARCONI WRECKAGE. -235-“  All images measure 4 5/8 by 6 ½ inches and are in perfect condition.  They are mounted on their original stiff cards measuring 7 by 9 inches.  These are also very good, noting two have slightly dog-eared lower left corners.  An original photo set over 105 years old!   349 / all

The notable wreck of the MARCONI is recorded in several well known books on the topic.  Among them, Jim Gibb’s “West Coast Windjammers,” 1968, Superior Publishing Co., Seattle, where the wreck is depicted on 3 different pages.  On page 49 the caption reads, “Battered remnants of the four-masted schooner “Marconi” on the beach below Coos Head after her towline parted on Coos Bay bar March 23, 1909.  The crew was rescued but the lumber laden windship was totaled out."  Then in another Gibbs book, “Disaster Log of Ships,” 1971, Superior Publishing, the wreck is depicted on page 60 with the caption, “The local gentry come to look over the shattered remains of the four-masted schooner MARCONI.  While being towed across Coos Bay bar outbound for Valpariso, March 23, 1909, the towing hawser parted midway over the bar.  The vessel drifted up on the south spit of the notorious Oregon bar and was pounded into submission.  Built by and for the Simpson Lumber Co. at North Bend in 1902, the MARCONI came to grief at the entrance to the port where she was built, just seven years later.” That photo is shown as "PLATE" below.




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15.88  SCARCE MID-WEST NAUTICAL PHOTO.  Authentic 19th century albumen photograph of the 3-masted schooner C. C. MILLER in drydock.  The upper left back of the photographed is penned in old ink “C.C. Miller,” then in pencil “Des Moines.”  The clear original image was printed from a glass plate then mounted on its original heavy photo card mount measuring 10 by 12 inches.   The image is 6 by 8 inches sight. Untouched original condition.  19

The Des Moines River, an upper tributary of the Mississippi, is the largest river in Iowa and the namesake of the state’s capitol and largest city which was incorporated as Fort Des Moines 1851, then shortened to Des Moines in 1857.


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15.95 ARTISTIC PHOTOGRAPH. Lovely, original hand-tinted lithographed photo. This stunning image is of the heavily laden 6-masted American schooner ADDIE M. LAWRENCE as pencil titled on the original mat lower left and signed by the artist "F. Thompson" in cursive script lower right. The photograph was taken of the vessel under full billowing sail from a starboard bow perspective in placid seas. The image measures 7 by 9 inches sight, with a plate mark impression 8 ¾ by 10 ¾ inches in the original cream-colored vellum mat with measures 13 by 16 inches overall. It is protected in its original heavy paper folder. Perfect original condition. This presentation has been undisturbed, preserved in conservation conditions for nearly100 years or more! 59 Special Packaging

Frederick H. Thompson formed the Thompson Art Company in Portland, Maine in 1900. Following the lead of the prolific artist and photographer Wallace Nutting, Thompson produced a wide variety of interior and exterior scenes consisting of hand-tinted photographs. Frederick died a premature death in 1909 but the business was continued by his son, Frederick M. Thompson, who died in 1923.

According to Paul C. Morris in "American Sailing Coasters of The North Atlantic, 1979, Bonanza Books, New York, "The ten vessels that were laid down and launched as six-masters were truly tremendous in size. The smallest in terms of both gross tonnage and length was the "Addie M. Lawrence" built by Percy and Small at Bath, Maine in 1902. This vessel measured 2,807 gross tons, was 292.4 feet in length and was homeported in Portland, Maine. She met her demise on July 12, 1917 when she stranded at Les Boeufs, France near the mouth of the Loire River, en route from Boston to St. Nazaire.


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15.17  IDENTIFIED ALBUMN PHOTOGRAPH.  Original, late 19th century image of the well-known passenger steamer R. G. STEWART passing through the Hudson River Locks.  The stately vessel is shown crammed with passengers on the main and upper decks dressed in their 1890’s finery.  Above the pilot house the vessel flies her name pennant.  At midships is the house flag of the D.B.C. & A. Line.  The American ensign flies from the stern.  On the bow the name “R.G. STEWART” is clearly visible just below the “D.B.C. & A. Line.”  This highly detailed photograph bears close scrutiny under magnification revealing a footbridge with numerous pedestrians along with a 2-masted schooner in the background.  To the STEWART’s port appears a barge and yet another steamer with a tall smokestack headed in the opposite direction.  A lone crewman can be seen observing the passage at the rail.  This perfect original image measures 4 ¼ by 5 ¼ inches.  Also identified in pencil on the back.   95

The single screw passenger steamer R. G. STEWART was built in Camden, New Jersey in 1882 and homeported in Albany, New York.  She had a length of 100 feet, a breadth of 23 feet and a draft of 8 feet, displacing 170 tons.  (“List of American Merchant Vessels of the United States, 1891.”)


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15.18  EARLY AMERICAN WARSHIPS.  Grouping of four early postcards depicting famous, turn-of-the-century U.S. Naval battleships.  They are the Battleship OREGON, Armored Cruiser CALIFORNIA, Battleship  VIRGINIA and the Battleship MISSISSIPPI.  3 of the 4 are chromolithographs.  The image of the MISSISSIPPI is an actual photograph.  Standard postcard format, 3 ¾ by 4 ½ inches.  The card of the CALIFORNIA is franked with a message dating 1908.  The others are unmarked with dates ranging from 1891 to 1917.  All are in excellent condition noting one minor loss to the lower right edge of the OREGON image. 19/all


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15.15  PERIOD NAVY PHOTO.  Genuine sepia tone photograph of an old battleship taking a direct hit.   It is titled lower center “SINKING THE U.S.S. EX-IOWA BY 14 IN. GUN FIRE.”  It is signed and numbered “22 – March - 23© by A.E. WELLS 4774” lower left.  The image is clear and bright, but there is some water spotting which actually may have been on the negative.  8 by 10 inches with a ½ inch border.  19

The venerable battleship IOWA, first to be named in honor of that state, was laid down by William Cramp & Sons of Philadelphia on August 5, 1893.  She was launched on March 28. 1896 and commissioned on June 16, 1897.  Armed with four twelve inch guns, the ship was state-of-the-art for its time.  Less than a year later her capabilities were put to the test when, at the battle of Santiago de Cuba in the Spanish American War, she was a major combatant against the Spanish Fleet.  The ensuing battle decimated the Spanish Navy and propelled the United States into world dominance at the beginning of the 20th century.

In retrospect it is sad that the once proud old war veteran was relegated to nothing more than a target ship at the end of her days.  But such was the prevailing sentiment of the time.

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15.14  PERIOD NAVY PHOTO.   Genuine sepia tone photograph of a line of battleships firing their guns.  This impressive image is titled lower center “BATTLESHIP FORCE OF PACIFIC FLEET FIRING 14 INCH SALVO.”  It is signed lower right “© by A.E. WELLS 4808 – D -5-23…”  It depicts at least 8 old battle wagons in a column firing their huge guns simultaneously with huge amounts of smoke.  This original image is on thick photographic paper measuring 8 by 10 inches with a ½ inch border.  This is a rare original photograph (not a later copy) which clearly depicts these antiquated warships with their cage masts in a line of battle.  SOLD

Another image taken by Photographer Wells is numbered “4774,” is dated March 22, 1923


15.12  ROYAL YACHT PHOTOGRAPH.  Authentic, identified real-time photo of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Royal Yacht SMY HOHENZOLLERN II at her berth in New York City in 1902.  This striking albumen photograph in rich sepia tones depicts the splendid yacht from a starboard bow perspective alongside a pier.  The image is clear and precise eliciting many details when viewed under magnification.  To the left of the vessel in the photograph can be seen the snow covered banks of the Hudson River with a 3-masted schooner at anchor.  A sole crewman can also be seen on the flying bridge.  This photograph was taken on February 25, 1902 when HOHENZOLLERN with Prince Heinrich embarked, visited President Theodore Roosevelt.  Interestingly, just above the forecastle of the HOHENSOLLERN can be seen 3 massive funnels of a liner berthed on the opposite side of the pier.  This original old image is well preserved, mounted on non-acidic foam core under shrink wrap and measures 7 ¼ by 9 ½ inches sight.  Perfect original condition.  An important original photograph with a number of significant ties to yachting, Royalty and the U.S. Presidency.  Over 100 years old!  149

 The extravagantly luxurious Royal Yacht SMY HOHENZOLLERN II was built by AG Vulcan, Stetin, Germany and launched in 1893.  She had a length overall of 390 feet, a beam of 46 feet and draft of 18 feet.  HOHENZOLLERN II was the German Imperial Yacht from 1893 to July 1914 during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II. 

On February 25, 1902 the yacht, embarked with Prince Heinrich, made a State visit to then President Theodore Roosevelt in New York City.  This photograph, taken that very day, documents the historic event.

Upon the outbreak of World War I, HOHENZOLLERN II was put out of service.  With the demise of the German throne she was struck from the record in 1920 and scrapped in Wilhelmshaven in 1923.



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15.10  FAMOUS NAVY PHOTOGRAPH.   Genuine old albumen photograph of the famous Spanish-American War veterans USS OLYMPIA and USS NEW YORK alongside the pier at the Brooklyn Naval Yard under dress ship conditions with flags and pennants flying.  The OLYMPIA is in the foreground left, with the NEW YORK across the pier on her port side.  Several sailors can be seen on deck of the OLYMPIA and wonderful details of both ships are clearly visible under magnification.  Circa 1901.  The image measures 6 ½ by 9 inches sight and is mounted on it original stiff photographic card measuring 7 ½ by 10 inches.  It is further protected by being mounted on foam core under shrink wrap.  SOLD

USS OLYMPIA (C-6) was/is a protected cruiser laid down on June 17, 1891 at the Union Iron Works shipyard in San Francisco.  She was launched on November 5, 1892 and commissioned on February 5, 1895.   After shakedown and preparatory drills OLYMPIA steamed to the Orient via Hawaii.  Upon the outbreak of hostilities between the U.S. and Spain, OLYMPIA was dispatched to the Philippine Islands.  On the fateful day of May 1, 1898, the U.S. Fleet under the command of Commodore George Dewey with OLYMPIA as his flagship, lead the American column of ships into Manila Bay.  At daybreak that morning, with the Spanish Fleet looming in the mist, Dewey issued his famous order to OLYMPIA's captain, "You may fire when ready Gridley."  The ensuing battle made short work of the Spanish Fleet, decimating all but a handful of the ships and shore batteries.  The Spanish suffered significant casualties.  Yet there was not a single loss of life on the American side.

After the War, OLYMPIA was assigned to the North Atlantic Fleet, homeported in Brooklyn, New York, where this photograph was taken.  The venerable ship went on to see active service through World War I, primarily as a training ship, until she was decommissioned in 1922.  In 1957 the U.S. Navy ceded title of the ship to the Cruiser Olympia Foundation and she became a museum ship for the Independence Seaport museum in Philadelphia where she remains to this day.

The battle cruiser USS NEW YORK (ACR-2) was laid down on September 30, 1890 by the William Cramp & Sons shipyard in Philadelphia.  She was launched on December 2, 1891 and commissioned on August 1, 1893.
NEW YORK was initially assigned to the South Atlantic Squadron, then transferred to the North Atlantic Squadron in August 1894.  She returned to her namesake port where she joined the European Squadron in 1895.  Rejoining the North Atlantic Squadron, she operated off Fort Monroe, Charleston, and New York through 1897.

NEW YORK departed Fort Monroe on January 17, 1898 for Key West.  After the declaration of war with Spain in April, she steamed to Cuba and bombarded the defenses at Matanzas before joining other American ships at San Juan in early May.  On May 12th they bombarded El Morro Castle at San Juan.  NEW YORK then became Admiral William T. Sampson's flagship as the American commander planned the campaign against Santiago.  On July 3, 1898 NEW YORK participated in the closing phases of that famous encounter, The Battle of Santiago de Cuba, which resulted in the complete destruction of the Spanish fleet.

After the War NEW YORK returned to Brooklyn.  In late 1901 she transferred to the Asiatic Fleet  sailing via Gibraltar, Port Said, and Singapore to Cavite, where she became flagship.  She then steamed to Yokohama in July thense Samar and other Philippine islands as part of the campaign against insurgents.  On 13 March 1902, she got underway for Hong Kong and other Chinese ports.  In September, she visited Vladivostok, Russia, then stopped in Korea before returning to San Francisco in November.  In 1903, NEW YORK transferred to the Pacific Squadron and cruised to the Honduras in February to protect American interests during turbulence there.  Steaming via Magdalena Bay, Mexico, the cruiser returned to San Francisco, and a reception for President Theodore Roosevelt.  In June 1904 NEW YORK reported to Puget Sound  as flagship of the Pacific Squadron.  In September, she enforced the President's neutrality order during the Russo-Japanese War.

On February 16, 1911 NEW YORK was renamed SARATOGA to make way for the newly named battleship NEW YORK (BB-34).
Decommissioned on  April 29, 1933, the venerable ship was struck from the Naval Register on October 28, 1938, and was scuttled on December 24, 1941 to prevent her capture by the Japanese.


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15.10  HUDSON RIVER PHOTOGRAPH.  Latter half 1800's albumen photograph of the grand passenger stern wheeler NEW YORK steaming down the Hudson on a bright, sunny day absolutely crammed with passengers on all 3 decks.  The huge river steamer plies the placid river, her reflection clearly showing in the water in the foreground.  The ship flies the Union Jack from the jack staff and at least 4 other flags aft, including the American ensign.  This early river boat has the unusual feature of 3 large smoke stacks positioned abreast of one another and forward of its old fashioned rocking beam engine.  Two masts are in evidence, one just forward of the pilot house and the other aft.  All the way astern can be seen the massive paddle box clearly marked “NEW YORK” on its side.  The white hulled vessel appears to be beautifully maintained as the well dressed passengers regale its every inch of space.  The thickly wooded banks of the Hudson River are clearly visible on both sides of the photograph.  It measures 4 ½ by 6 3/8 inches sight and is mounted on its original stiff photograph card measuring 8 by 10 ¼ inches.  The image is in excellent original condition and bears close scrutiny under magnification revealing many interesting details.  The original card is complete and sound, but does have a water stain in the upper right quadrant.  This could be easily matted out when the photograph is framed.  Currently preserved under shrink wrap mounted on foam core.  149

The famous stern wheel river steamer NEW YORK was built in Brooklyn in 1863.  She had a length of 192 feet, a breadth of 34 feet and a draft of 13 feet. She was homeported in New York City. 


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15.09   IDENTIFIED PHOTO.   Extra nice authentic 19th century cabinet card photograph of a racing cutter under full sail at sea.  This antique albumen photograph clearly depicts the classic yacht with long bowsprit, two head sails, gaff and billowing mainsail on a port tack.  It flies a yacht pennant from the mast.  Two crewmen can clearly be seen in their respective positions on deck.  In the background lies a long narrow sandy shore with 3 ramps leading to the water with two large vessels shown.  This handsome old photograph is blind signed (impressed) “West & Son Copyright, Southsea & Gosport ” lower right.  Then on the back, upper left the vessel is identified in pencil as the “Currytush.”The image measures 5 ¾ by 8 ½ inches sight and is mounted on its original heavy photographic card measuring 6 ½ by 8 ½ inches.  A fine original example of professional quality marine photograph in near perfect original condition.  195

Alfred John West (1857–1937) was an award-winning British marine photographer, who began working in 1880 in his father’s photographic business “George West and Son” at 97 High Street, Gosport, Hants and 72 and 84 Palmerston Road, Southsea.  He became a world renown marine photographer, winning many national and international medals for his studies of yachts under sail.  His portrait of MOHAWK racing in the Royal Southampton Yacht Club Regatta in 1884 gained him the gold medal at the St. Louis Convention USA in competition with photographers from 9 other countries.   In 1897, at age 40, he embarked on a career as a cinematographer.  He was active in both of these pioneering roles until 1913 when he sold his copyrighted negative yachting plates to the famous marine photographer  Beken of Cowes, and his stock of positives to a distributor in Glasgow who quickly went out of business and disappeared with the material


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15.07  HISTORICAL WRECK PHOTOGRAPHS.  Two original silverplate black and white images of the famous wreck of the schooner “MARCONI” on the Oregon Coast.  These original images are mounted on their stiff-backed hard cards, typical of the era, measuring 7 by 9 inches overall with the images measuring 4 ½ by 6 ½ inches.  Each is identified in the photographer’s own hand “MARCONI” WRECKED MAR 23.09’ and the other “MARCONI” ON THE BEACH.”   The photographs and mounting cards are in pristine original condition.  RARE!  Truly amazing original condition for photographs over 100 years old!  Two photos.  149 

In his celebrated book “Disaster Log of Ships,” author/naval historian, Jim Gibbs, depicts the wreck of the MARCONI on page 60 with the caption, “The local gentry come to look over the shattered remains of the four-masted schooner MARCONI.  While being towed across Coos Bay bar outbound for Valpariso, March 23 1909, the towing hawser parted midway over the bar.  The vessel drifted up on the south spit of the notorious Dragon Bar and was pounded into submission.  Built by and for the Simpson Lumber Co. at North Bend in 1902, the MARCONI came to grief at the entrance to the port where she was built, just seven years later.”


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15.06  LAUNCHING PHOTO.  Very rare, original 19th century West Coast albumen photograph documenting the launch of the famous U.S. Navy warship MOHICAN at the Mare Island Naval Yard.  The large original image is identified at the bottom “U + S +  Mohican + U.S. NAVY YARD, MARE ISLAND, CAL. – Launched – December 27th, 1883” and is signed lower right, “J.G. SMITH, Photographer, Vallejo, Cal.”  The scene shows the imposing wooden hulled vessel on the ways with a large number of onlookers standing about and several gathered at the second gun port on deck.  Above it is decoratively festooned with “dress ship” signal flags, flying the Union Jack from the fore and the American ensign aft.  The ship’s masts and spars are visible in the foreground as are a number of barrels.  In the distance are out buildings of the yard and the inlet between Mare Island and the town of Vallejo. The presentation is further enhanced with the vessel specifications:

LENGTH AT LOAD LEINE (sic)…216 feet.
BREADTH EXTREME……………. 38 feet.
DEPTH OF HOLD….………………19 feet.
TONNAGE…….………………1003 ¼ tons.
DISPLACEMENT….……………1900 tons.

The image measures 9 ¾ by 13 ½ inches sight and the original card measures 11 2/4 by 15 ½ inches.  It is housed under old wavy glass, secured with square nails, in its original ornately carved Eastlake walnut frame with fancy gilt liner measuring 19 ¼ by 23 inches overall. Condition is excellent, untouched, original.  There is some minor foxing to the mat lower right which in no way affects the inscriptions or the image.  It is very rare to find an image of this size and subject matter in untouched condition, especially taken on the West Coast.  589  Special Packaging

The steam/sail Sloop of War USS MOHICAN was laid down by Mare Island Navy Yard, California on September 4th, 1872and commissioned on May 25th, 1885.

Assigned to the Pacific Squadron, MOHICAN departed San Francisco in June 1885 to patrol the American coasts as far south as Callao, Peru, then departed in March 1886 for the South Pacific.  In July she made port in Auckland, New Zealand then surveyed Easter Island in December for the Smithsonian Institution.  Thereafter, into October 1892,  MOHICAN cruised the North Pacific.

Completing  overhaul in January 1893, MOHICAN became  the flagship of Admiral Skerrett, commander of the Pacific Squadron.  Following the overthrow of Hawaii 's last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, Skerrett and his new flagship arrived in Honolulu later that month to support the provisional Hawaiian government.  Subsequently, the ship remained on the Pacific coast until she was decommissioned at Mare Island in September 1895.

Due to the impending war with Spain, MOHICAN was recommissioned on February 8, 1898.   She made two voyages to Hawaii from March through September, protecting American interests.  At war’s end she was made a training ship at Mare Island.  The venerable sloop cruised the Pacific coast into 1902.  In January 1903 she sailed across the Pacific, making port calls in Honolulu, Christmas Island, Samoa, Guam and Yokohama.   In April 1904 she ship was designated station ship at the Naval Station, Subic Bay.

MOHICAN served as a submarine tender in Cavite into March 1913.  Thereafter she was designated as receiving ship at Cavite and stationary tender for the 1st Submarine Group, Torpedo Flotilla, Asiatic Fleet.  Though relieved of this duty by monitor MONADNOCK in June 1914, she continued as a tender through 1915.
 USS MOHICAN was decommissioned at Cavite on October 21, 1921 and sold to private interests in Manila

Mare Island, not really an island, but a peninsula, is located in the town of Vallejo, California with the Napa River to the east and San Pablo Bay (northeast San Francisco Bay) on the west.



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15. 04   WEST COAST CREW PHOTO.  Very early 1900’s deck view taken of the crew of the British ship “GUNFORD” as indicated lower center.  This high resolution full plate albumen photograph was taken by the professional marine photographer “J. H. Wilton, Marine Photo.,” as signed in fancy embossed script lower left and identified “With the Elite, 838 Market St., S.F.” lower right.  It depicts 12 members of the crew posing in front of the mid-ships deckhouse, seated and standing on the wooden deck.  In the background can be seen a ladder, porthole and keel of a lifeboat in its cradle.  The photograph is professionally-mounted under glass in a nice wooden frame with decorative beading measuring 13 by 15 inches.  The photograph, mounted on its original stiff card, measures 7 ½ by 9 ½ inches.   Excellent original condition throughout.   195


super detail

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15.03  HISTORIC STEREO CARDS.  Group of 3 original historically important stereo cards relating to the famous Battleship MAINE of Spanish-American War fame.  The oldest card, circa 1895, depicts the “New Battleship Maine,” as entitled lower right, on a port bow perspective.  The second graphically documents the horrific damage incurred by the ship on February 15, 1898.  It is entitled “General View of the Wrecked Battleship Maine” and is signed in cursive script on the ends, “Keystone View Company, Meadville, Pa; St. Louis, Mo., Copyright 1898 by B.L. Lingley.”  An extensive write-up of the ship’s characteristics and its demise is printed on the reverse.  The third card depicts the second Battleship Maine which was authorized soon after its namesake was sunk.  This truly “new” battleship Maine was launched ship and commissioned on.  The view depicts the stately ship with 3 funnels and 2 cage mast seen from the starboard side and is signed along the bottom “Copyright E. Muller Jr., N. Y.  / U.S.S. Maine, battleship.”  All three cards are in excellent original condition, measuring the standard 3 ¾ by 7 ¼ inches each.  59        

The USS MAINE (ACR-1) was the first United States Navy ship to be named after the state of Maine.  Built by the New York Naval Shipyard in Brooklyn, New York she was launched on November 18, 1890 and commissioned as an armored cruiser on September 17, 1895.  At 324 feet in length and displacing 6,682 tons, her twin rotating gun turrets reflected the latest European naval developments.  The layout of her main armament closely resembled the British ironclad INFEXIBLE.  Her designers eliminated full masts thanks to the increased reliability of steam engines by that time.

The MAINE was best known for her loss in Havana Harbor, Cuba on the evening of February 15, 1898 which killed nearly three quarters of her crew. The cause of her sinking remained unclear after a board of inquiry was convened.  Nevertheless, popular opinion in the U.S., fanned by inflammatory articles printed in the "Yellow Press” by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, blamed Spain. The phrase, "Remember the Maine", became a rallying cry for action. Action came in the form of the Spanish–American War, when on April 25, 1898 Congress declared that a state of war between the U.S. and Spain had existed since April 21, the day the U.S. had begun blockading Cuba.

The “new” USS MAINE (BB-10) was the lead ship of her pre-dreadnought battleship class, and second U.S. Navy ship to be so named.  Building the MAINE had been authorized by Congress on the heels of the destruction of her namesake in February 1898.  The new MAINE was laid down a year later at the William Cramp & Sons shipyard in Philadelphia, launched in July 1901 and commissioned in December 1902.  She was armed with a main battery of four 12-inch guns and could steam at 18 knots   MAINE served in the Atlantic her entire career with the North Atlantic Squadron until she joined the cruise of the Great White Fleet in December 1907.  However her heavy coal consumption prevented her from continuing past San Francisco.  During World War I MAINE was used as a training ship.  She remained in active service until May 1920, when she was decommissioned.  The ship was ultimately sold for scrap in January 1922 and broken up under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty.


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15.02  19th CENTURY SHIP LAUNCHING PHOTO.  Genuine albumen photograph taken at the gala launching of the ship identified as the “Steamer Iron King.”   The wooden hulled vessel is shown on the ways with scores of well wishers on deck.  Above them numerous flags and pennants fly, including the ship’s name pennant discernable as “IRON KING.”  In The foreground several shipyard workers stand amidst dunnage and timbers.  Two gentlemen dressed in suits, their backs to the camera, possibly the owners, take in the scene.  The very clear image bears scrutiny under magnification to reveal numerous interesting details.  It measures 6 1/8 by 8 ¼ inches sight.  It is signed by the photographer “George W. Burger” lower left, of “Poughkeepsie, N.Y.” lower right.  It is boldly entitled “COLLYER BROS.’ LIGHTERING & TRANS. CO. STEAMER IRON KING.  John J. Baisden, Builder, Rondout, N.Y. Launched Aug. 17th, 1898.”  This authentic photograph is housed under old wavy glass in its original simple oak frame measuring 12 ¾ by 14 ¾ inches.  Untouched original condition.  295

The steamship IRON KING was built in Sleightsbury, N.Y. and launched in 1898.  It was a wooden hulled vessel 97.2 feet in length with a breadth of 30.4 feet, a draft of 9.3 feet and displaced 209 tons.  She was homeported out of New York Harbor.  (“List of Merchant Vessel of the United States, 1899”).  Interestingly, no listing of the ship is found in the subsequent 1900 volume, giving rise to speculation that the young ship was lost in its first year in service!


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15.41 PHOTOGRAPH. Late 19th century silver process photograph identified as the "Bark Levi G. Burgess J. Younger, Master" as hand written across the bottom. This period image shows the Burgess alongside the wharf. An old fashioned steam "donkey engine" can be seen to the left, and in the background the roof of one of the buildings reads "...RSON BUILDER." This image shows good detail under magnification and the vessel name can clearly be seen on the port bow.  The image measures is in perfect condition and 7 by 9 inches sight.  It is mounted on it original card (rough edges) with the additional notation on the back, "Built Thomaston (Maine) 1877."  A really handsome antique photograph of an American windjammer, perfect for framing.   149

 This original photograph shows the LEVI G. BURGESS docked in San Francisco sometime between 1897-1900. Built as a full rigged ship by Samuel Watts at Thomaston, Maine, she was launched on Oct. 6th 1877. The LEVI G. BURGESS was named after the son of Captain Joseph S. Burgess of the famous shipping firm "Snow & Burgess" N.Y., who were part owners. She was a good carrier and made several fast passages "'round Cape Horn."  Sold in San Francisco in 1887, she became a well known Pacific coast and "Offshore Trades" vessel. Re-rigged as a bark in 1897 (as shown in this photo) she did splendid service up until 1910 when she was sold to Alaska Portland Packers Association. Thereafter she operated as a salmon fisheries packer until 1928 when she was broken up and burned for her metal.

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15.92    FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPH.   Original late 19th century, large format albumen photograph signed and identified by the noted Boston marine photographer Nathaniel L. Stebbins.  This handsome example is “blind signed” (impressed) lower right “N.L. STEBBINS Photo BOSTON.”  Then it is stamped in ink on the reverse, “N. L. STEBBINS.  MARINE  & LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER, 521 WASHINGTON ST. BOSTON, MASS.”  Further it is  pencil signed in the photographer’s own cursive hand, “Steam Yacht Aurora taken when moving 10 nautical miles per hour.”  This photo depicts the large 2-masted steam/sail yacht on the port beam.  The detail of this photograph bears close scrutiny under magnification showing 2 crewmen on the foc’scle, the vessel’s nameboard reading “AURORA” on the pilothouse, looming smokestack and at least 6 of the owner’s party on the fantail.  The image measures 9 3/8 by 7 ¾ inches sight and is matted on its original tan mat under the original old wavy glass measuring 13 ½ by 10 ½ inches.  It is housed in the original solid oak frame with fancy gilt liner measuring 20 by 17 inches overall.  The back retains its original single pine board backing held in with hand-cut square nails.  The overall presentation is in excellent original condition throughout.  395

Nathaniel Livermore Stebbins (1847 - 1922) is quite arguably the most famous American marine photographer in history.  His photographs documented an important era in the development of American maritime activities at a time when the industrial revolution was taking hold.  The revolution created sweeping technological and social changes in the activities of military, commercial and leisurely ocean travel.

In 1882, shortly after the introduction of the dry plate photograph, Stebbins became interested in photography.  The fast exposure time and ease of use, made photography more practical.  These photographic innovations, his interest in the sea, and the fact that he had virtually no competition, lead Stebbins to embark on a career as a maritime photographer.  In furthering his pursuits it is known that Stebbins was a member of yacht clubs both in the Boston and Marblehead, Massachusetts

Stebbins obviously sold a number of his original prints, but he also produced a number of books containing nautical images, including an illustrated coastal guide which was ground-breaking in its use of practical photography.  Stebbins’ images appeared in such well-known magazines as “The Rudder” and “Yachting.”

Spanning a career from 1884 to 1922, Stebbins took an estimated 25,000 photographs.  Of those about 60% were of marine subjects.   The remainder of his work comprised city scenes, theater, railroads and domestic interiors..

Stebbins published a number of books which depicted his maritime photography.  Of note was his innovative Illustrated Coast Pilot, which included actual photographs of landmarks and aids to navigation on the East Coast.  The first edition, published in 1891 covered the East Coast between New York and Maine.   The second edition of 1896 expanded the coverage to include the entire Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

Upon his death, Stebbins’ collection consisted of about 20,000 negatives, mostly glass plates, which were the usual medium for high-resolution negatives at the time.  The collection was purchased by another photographer.  Tradition holds that most were sold for scrap as greenhouse glass.

Today, only a few of the original plates survive in the Peabody Museum in Salem Massachusetts.  A precious few more are protected in the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia.  Thankfully, the bulk of the remaining collection (about 5,000 images total, of which a little over 2,500 are the original glass negatives) were rescued by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities by William Appleton, founder of the Society.

The steam auxiliary 2-masted schooner yacht AURORA was recorded in the 1895 edition of the “Annual Report of the Supervising Inspector General” dated September 9 – “Steam Yacht Aurora coming out of Salem Harbor, collided with a dory containing six persons, but no one was hurt.”


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15.84  USS OLYMPIA PHOTOGRAPH.  Impressive panoramic photograph of the festive welcoming of Admiral Dewey’s flagship the USS OLYMPIA upon returning from its around the world cruise and celebration of it victory over the Spanish Armada in the Spanish-American War.  This original silver plate photograph is blind signed lower right “Copyright 1902 C. E. BOLLES, BROOKLYN, N.Y.”  It depicts the white battleship surround by numerous tugboats festooned with flags and pennants.  Several bear bold banners reading “POLICE.”  In the background can bee seen the harbor surrounds, which look more like Boston than Brooklyn.  The perfect image is clear and bright, measuring 7 by 9 ¼ inches sight under a gray mat measuring 13 by 15 inches.  An original historic photograph over 100 years old.  295

15.84 IMAGE


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15.79  EARLY NAVY PHOTO.  Very unusual late 19th century albumen photograph of officers posed on the deck of a U.S. Navy warship.  What is so very rare about this group photo is that women in their Victorian finery are mingled amongst the smartly uniformed officers!  There are a total of 19 officers and 4 women plus a crewman behind and 2 standing on the upper deck in the background, for a total of 26 individuals.  A large Dahlgren gun is shown in the left foreground.   On the deck above stands a sailor in flat hat holding a large telescope.  To his left is an early wooden hexagonal binnacle on pedestal with another sailor standing behind.  Faintly visible is standing rigging and a mast indicating this is aboard a sailing ship.  And the fact that the binnacle is non-compensating means it is a wooden sailing ship!  The image itself measures 7 ½ by 9 ½ inches sight.  It is mounted on its original heavy card backing which is signed “CREWES, PHOTOGRAPHER CAPE TOWN”.  There is a faint penned inscription in the lower center which we have not been able to decipher.  Perhaps a better eye could ascertain the identity of the ship!  The mat opening is 9 ¼ by 10 ¾ inches mounted in a period frame under glass measuring 14 by 16 ½ inches.  Condition is acceptable.  The image is very clear but lightly soiled.  There is a small tear with puncture upper middle which does not affect the main field of view.  Circa 1880.  195


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15.78  EARLY SUBMARINES PHOTO.   Important, historic bird’s eye view photograph of the United State Navy's fledgling submarine base at the Panama Canal just after the First World War. This documentary sepia tone photograph on heavy card photographic paper depicts four large submarine tenders with submarines nested alongside. At least 13 submarines are seen in their berths with yet another clearly visible underway lower left. It is a high resolution image which bears close scrutiny under magnification, revealing details of the ships, the subs, a lighthouse in the distance and the masts and funnel of a ship at dock in the foreground.  It is signed "PHOTO © BY A. E. WELLS" lower left. This original print measures 7 by 9 inches sight and 8 by 10 inches overall, housed in its original gilt walnut frame measuring 12 by 14 inches.  Outstanding original condition.  Clear and bright.  A rare, historically important image documenting America's submarine service during its infancy!  295

This exact photograph is shown at:  http://www.tendertale.com/ttd/ttd4/ttd4.html  the U.S. Navy’s unofficial website for submarine tenders.  It is entitled, “Photo # NH 42573 Submarines and submarine tenders at Cristobal Canal Zone, circa 1923.”  The tenders are (left to right): SAVANNAH (AS-8), BUSHNELL (AS-2), BEAVER (AS-5) and CAMDEN (AS-6). Submarines are mostly "R" type boats, among them R-23 (SS-100) and R-25 (SS-102), both in the nest alongside SAVANNAH's port quarter. The bigger submarine alongside SAVANNAH's bow may be S-1 (SS-105), with her large seaplane hangar.  As shown the vessels are moored in Manzanillo Bay just off of Coco Solo Point to the right. The lighthouse is on Margarita Island and the pier in the foreground is Manzanillo Point.

When the Panama Canal opened in January of 1914 the United States was very concerned about protecting its strategic investment.  At that time submarines were still considered as a coastal defense force and not useful for much else.  So like Naval forces on Asiatic Station "showing the flag," five C Boats (OCTOPUS, STINGRAY, TARPON, BONITA, and SNAPPER) were deployed to Coco Solo with their tenders.

 A. E. Wells was THE official photographer for the U.S. Navy, War Department in the early 1920's. His photographs are contained in the archives of the Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington D.C. as well as numerous American museums nation wide.



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15.50 MUSEUM PHOTOGRAPH SET. Complete set of 5 exhibition photographs taken by professional marine photographer Kenneth Jenkins of Oakland, California. These museum quality photographs each bear exhibition markings on the reverse indicating that they we shown at the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Virginia in 1953. The prints are numbered consecutively 1 through 5 and are meticulously titled, described, and documented in the photographer's own words on the reverse. They read: "1. SCHOONER BOWS, Not exactly a common sight today, two large 3-masted, deep-water schooners berthed side by side. The schooners being the CHARLES R. WINSLOW and her near-sister C. A. THAYER; 2. BLACK DOUGLAS, The converted schooner BLACK DOUGLAS taken from a Mexican "Bum Boat"; 3. LIMEJUICE TRAMP, A typical British Tramp Steamer, the S/S KINGSMOUNT; 4. SEAMYSTERY, The Liberty Ship SEAMYSTERY; and 5. MEXICAN LEE, The converted schooner BLACK DOUGLAS, photo taken on Isla Santa Margarita." Each of these original black and white photographs measures 7 by 9 1/2 inches sight and is mounted onto its original card measuring 16 by 20 inches. All are in an outstanding state of original preservation. A rare full set of museum photographs well over a half century old! 95 for all five!


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