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    Three Ship's Logbooks for the HMS Druid (Two) and HMS Prince Consort (One). The HMS Druid, a Briton-class wooden screw corvette, was completed in February 1872 and spent her first two years, under the command of Captain Maurice H. Nelson, assigned to the Cape of Good Hope Station. These two logbooks, dated January 1872 through November 1873, cover her time in Africa, from her departure from Portsmouth, England, to her time in South Africa and her arrival in the town of Elmina, modern-day Ghana, West Africa.

    The logbooks, both of which were published in 1865 and measure 8.5" x 13", contain day-by-day entries providing the ship's position (in latitude and longitude) and course, wind direction, weather conditions, and crew activities. The crew was often employed mending clothing, drilling, cleaning the ship and her guns, and occasionally engaging in combat, such as the bombardment of the village of Beyin, on the coast of Ghana, noted in an entry on October 16, 1873: "8:30[a.m.] Ship opened fire on village with shot and shell . . . firing rockets . . . 2:30[p.m.] Ceased firing."

    The two books contain eighteen original works of art depicting fauna, e.g. jellyfish, butterflies, and South African cattle, flora, landscapes, ships, native weaponry, the ship's layout, and a beautiful hand-drawn and painted frontispiece featuring a gold loop entwined with holly reading "Log of H.M.S. Druid The Honble M.H. Nelson." Of note is the presence of seven hand-drawn maps charting the ship's course from England to South Africa, the Gulf of Guinea (two total), the coast of South Africa (two total), Ivory Coast, and the town of Elmina. Each map, excluding the map of Elmina, locates the ship's position by date and provides an excellent visual reference for the entries.

    The final logbook, also measuring 8.5" x 13", provides a day-by-day record of the HMS Prince Consort, originally named the Triumph, but renamed in 1862 in memory of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria who had recently died. Initially laid down in 1860 as a ninety-one gun Bulwark-class wooden battleship, she was later converted into broadside ironclad. This logbook spans the dates April 1868 through May 1870, when the Prince Consort was a member of the Mediterranean Fleet. Each entry provides the ship's location and course, wind direction, barometric pressure, and crew activities.

    With fourteen hand-drawn maps showing the position of the ship and her course in the Atlantic, off the west coast of Portugal, the southern Mediterranean, Sicily to Greece (three total), Sicily and the boot of Italy (two total), Gibraltar to Corsica (hand-colored), the west coast of Spain (two total; one hand-colored), the Nile Delta (hand-colored), Sicily to Syracuse, and Sicily to Crete. Also included are fourteen original drawings (three of which are hand-colored) depicting mostly landscapes and fortifications as seen from the ship.

    Condition: All three books are covered in a thick felt-like material. There is light toning (particularly at the edges of the pages) with some scattered spots of foxing scattered throughout, but overall the pages are in excellent condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,139

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