1926 – Explorer – David Livingstone in Large Mezzotint Engraving

David Livingstone
Pioneer Africa Explorer 
Large Mezzotint Engraving
1926


London, 1926-1929. Large Limited Edition mezzotint engraved portrait of David Livingstone, pioneer missionary and explorer, together with a single leaf biographical sketch. Painted and engraved by H. Scott Bridgwater from a painting made by F. Havill held in London’s National Portrait Gallery. One corner of matte creased, otherwise in Very Good and original condition, protected with a tissue guard, clean and bright with strong impression, suitable for framing.

A Rare and Large Portrait – Medium Quarto
Engraving measures approximately 9 x 11.5 inches
Matte measures approximately 18.5 x 23 inches
From a limited edition work (only 400 copies) issued by the museum from 1926-1929, titled “The Museum Galleries, London” and being a collection of coloured mezzotint artist signed portraits of famous men and women.

Henry Scott Bridgwater (1864- 3 January 1950) was a British painter, draughtsman, mezzotint engraver, and etcher. He specialised in mezzotints after the works of Sant, Fildes, Leighton, Millais, Greuze, Romney, Reynolds and Hoppner, and exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1889 to 1946. Born in Dudley and lived in Bushey, Hertfordshire, he worked for most of the leading London print publishers and dealers. He has been called ‘Henry’ or ‘Harry’ and often his surname is misspelled ‘Bridgewater’. He married landscape and genre painter H. May. Their son is watercolourist Phyllida Scott Bridgwater.

1939 – Photography – Life in Japan

Japanese Custom in Photographs
Beautiful Snapshot Views
Architecture – Temples – Gardens
Rice – Silk – Tea
1939

Tokyo, Nikko, Yokohama, Hakone, Nagoya, Ikaruga, Nara, 1939. Album of photographs taken in Japan just prior to the Second World War, featuring excellent scenes of civilians and their customs, long-standing trades, sacred monuments and notable architecture. Contains 58 gelatin silver print photographs mounted onto ivory cardstock leaves. Photographs measure approximately 15,5 x 11 cm, each mounted recto and verso, one per page, with a typescript caption alongside. Oblong 8vo. string-tied album measuring approximately 31 x 24 x 6 cm, cheerful orange floral patterned silk covered boards, with dedication inscription to flyleaf, from a traveller/visitor named A. J. Thomas, to a Reverend H. Osborne, dated 26 July 1939. Silk frayed at edges, indication of moisture to endpapers, otherwise in Very Good Condition, internally crisp and bright, a pleasing presentation of striking images.

The album was compiled and gifted in July 1939, according to the dedication inscription. Certain images and captions suggest that the visitor may have been in Japan from as early as November 1938, seen by a photograph of the Shichi-Go-San festival which is held annually on November 15. The images capture the traditions and daily life of Japan’s refined culture, as well as special events, and even an insider’s view to private settings.

From exceptionally captivating vantage points, and with a genuine, personal perspective, the album renders a delightful and most inviting picture of Japan. The scenes capture everything from traditional dress, theatre and music, meal and tea customs, sports, trades, life event ceremonies, education, sacred locations and monuments, architecture, as well as the islands’ natural beauty.

A superb photographic work in terms of showcasing Japanese custom , the present album features striking images of an apprentice Geisha, pristine women in fine silk kimonos, a tea ceremony, a typical female orchestra, Sumo and Judo wrestling, archery and fencing duels, tea harvesting, shrines, sacred gates and hanging lanterns.

Local trades for which Japan is best known, are well illustrated, with a notable number of women workers. Views include rice field workers up to their knees in water, cormorant fishing at night, women picking tea, women feeding silk-worms, and others working in an enormous silk spinning factory.

Reflecting the nation’s spirituality, he includes historic temples and sacred monuments, including the tall customary torii (gates) which signify the transition into a sacred place. Specific shrines include two in Tokyo, the Meizi [Meiji] Shrine, and the Imperial Yasukuni Shrine which commemorates those who died in war service for Japan. A stellar photograph shows the richly decorated Yomeimon Gate in Nikko known famously as “Gate of the Setting Sun”. The imposing thirteenth century bronze Daibutsu (Great Buddha) of Kamakura, representing Amitabha Buddha at the Kotoku-in Temple, claims its presence in the album. We also find a unique roof-top view of the Horyuzi [Horyuji] Buddhist Temple complex in Ikaruga, which was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples. In Kyoto, he visited the temples known as Kinkakuzi [Kinkaku-ji] and Kinkakuzi-dera; the latter was founded in 778 during the early Heian period.

Fascinating examples of architecture, ancient and modern, include the Izyu-Basi Bridge which leads to the Emperor’s palace in Tokyo, the ancient Nagoya Castle, a triple-arched bridge, and the National Diet Building which was completed only three years prior in 1936. Of special interest is a view of the original brick Tokyo Station (Marunouchi Building) which was completed in 1914, and sadly would be mostly destroyed by a WWII bomb some five years after this photograph was taken.

Elaborately dressed toddlers, led by proud parents, are being escorted to a shrine for the traditional rite of passage called Shichi-Go-San. The festival celebrates the growth and well-being of young children. It takes place annually on November 15, the guests of honor being children aged three, five, and seven years old. The photographer also attended separate festivals held for girls and for boys in the springtime, and the Star Festival in July, a Hollyhock Flower festival, and a Sacred Virginal Dance at the Heian Shrine.

Some of the finest qualities of Japan’s natural elements are also beautifully captured here, with stellar snapshot images of the iconic Mount Fuji, symbolic cherry blossom trees, the tiered Japanese pine trees, Mount Aso volcano in a state of smoldering eruption, the serene crater lake Asinoko [Ashi], and immaculate gardens designed and shaped by skilled landscapers, including Suizen-ji Joju-en Park. From the upper platform, the photographer snaps a lovely view of the Akechidaira Ropeway (a cable car aerial tramway opened in 1933) at Nikko, which shows the vast mountainous area surrounding it.

A most elegant and comprehensive photographic presentation of life in Japan!

1838 – An Early Treatise on the Use of Transit Telescopic Instruments

STRUVE, F.G.W.

Title: Sur l’emploi de l’instrument des passages pour la détermination des positions géographiques. A l’usage des officiers de l’étât-major-général en Russie, par F.G.W. Struve.
[On the Use of the Transit Instruments for the Determination of Geographical Positions. For use by Officers of the State in Russia, by F.G.W. Struve]

4to. Saint Petersburg: Académie Impériale des Sciences, 1838. Translation of Struve’s German work into French, by Alexandre Schyanoff. vi, 93 pages, plus 3 folding plates and single leaf errata. Bound in green continental paper boards with gilt titled label to spine. Near fine condition and very crisp.

An early treatise on the transit telescope, consisting of detailed theory and instruction for use of the apparatus, as set forth by renowned astronomer Struve while he was teaching at the Dorpat observatory in Estonia. With 3 diagrams for illustration. This is the original French translation – expanded and augmented with new material – of a separately printed pamphlet by Struve, published in German Language in St. Petersburg 1833. This french edition evidences formulae corrections by the author and also a new comparisons beween transit instruments devised and built by Troughton and by Ertel. A fascinating work revealing scientific advance in the making of instruments which would revolutionize navigation. Quite rare as COPAC only finds 15 copies in Libraries Worldwide.

Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve (Vasily Yakovlevich Struve) (1793-1864) was a Baltic-German astronomer from a famous dynasty of astronomers. From 1813 to 1820, he taught at the university and observed at Dorpat Observatory in Tartu, Estonia, and in 1820 became a full professor and director of the observatory. He was occupied with research on double stars and geodesy until 1839, when he founded and became director of the new Pulkovo Observatory near St Petersburg. Struve discovered a large number of double stars, made numerous micrometric measurements of the same, and was also the first to measure the parallax of Vega. He published some important scientific works. Among other honors, he won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1826, and was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1833. The asteroid 768 Struveana was named jointly in his honour and that of Otto Wilhelm and Karl Hermann Struve and a lunar crater was named for another 3 astronomers of the Struve family: Friedrich Georg Wilhelm, Otto Wilhelm and Otto.

Also involved in geodetic surveying, in 1831 he published ‘Beschreibung der Breitengradmessung in den Ostseeprovinzen Russlands’. He initiated the Struve Geodetic Arc, which was a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through ten countries and over 2,820 km.

The meridian circle, transit circle, or transit telescope is an instrument for observing the time of stars passing the meridian, at the same time measuring its angular distance from the zenith. The idea of having an instrument (quadrant) fixed in the plane of the meridian occurred even to the ancient astronomers and is mentioned by Ptolemy, but it was not carried into practice until Tycho Brahe constructed a large meridian quadrant. They are a special purpose telescope mounted so as to allow it to be pointed only at objects in the sky crossing the local meridian, an event known as a transit. These telescopes rely on the rotation of the Earth to bring objects into their field of view and are fixed on a east-west axis. Meridian circles have been used since the 18th century to accurately measure positions of stars in order to catalog them.

Edward Troughton, FRS (1753-1835) was a British instrument maker who was notable for making telescopes and other astronomical instruments. Troughton quickly established himself as the leading maker of navigational, surveying and astronomical instruments in Britain. Not only did he make great improvements in the design of existing instruments, but he also invented many new instruments. He began his instrument making career with instruments to aid navigation, for example, he designed the ‘pillar’ sextant, patented in 1788, the dip sector, the marine barometer and the reflecting circle built in 1796. Other instruments which he designed were for use in surveying. He designed the pyrometer, the mountain barometer and the large theodolites which were used in the American Coast Survey of 1815, and base-line measuring apparatus. Troughton’s most famous instruments were astronomical ones. He made the reversible Groombridge Transit Circle in 1806, which Stephen Groombridge used to compile his star catalogue, ‘Catalogue of Circumpolar Stars.’. In 1810 he made a six foot Mural Transit Circle which was erected at the Observatory in Greenwich in 1812. In 1816 he made a ten-foot Transit Circle. He never produced any telescopes, however, and the reason for this was that he suffered from colour-blindness which was a defect which ran in his family. He did, however, make use of some of his own instruments to make astronomical observations. For example he observed the transit of Mercury across the disk of the sun in May 1799 and made careful, accurate observations which he published in the scientific literature.

Traugott Leberect Ertel (1778-1858) was a German maker of instruments for astronomical research. In 1812 together with Georg Friedrich von Reichenbach, he founded the Mathematical-Mechanical Institute in Munich, a workshop for astronomical and geodetic instruments, and become its sole proprietor around 1820. In 1819 their first meridian circle was completed, which F. Bessel had ordered for the Observatory of Köningsberg. In this instrument the circular scale with the verniers was used, thus making the accuracy of determining the declination comparable with the accuracy of the hourly angle (up to one second of the arc). A highly successful operation, until the mid-nineteenth century, Ertel remained the sole astronomer to provide the observatories in countries like Germany, Russia and Italy, with his primary transit instrument. After Ertel’s death his sons George and Gustav ran the world-renowned workshop.

The Airy Transit Circle, installed in 1850 and first used on 4th January 1851 is emblematic of the revolution in working practice introduced by Airy at the Royal Observatory. At the time of its installation, the Airy Transit Circle marked a huge advance on existing technology. A transit instrument is always lined up with a north-south line, or meridian. When a star passes over the meridian, the transit instrument can be used to measure the angle at which this happens. Whilst this happens, an extremely accurate clock, called a regulator, is used to measure the time it occurs. These two measurements give the co-ordinates of that star, which can be used to make a star chart – and star position tables to aid navigation. The production of these tables, published annually to this day in the Nautical Almanac, was fundamental to the founding duty of the Observatory, which was to improve navigation.

1932 – Exquisite Royal Greeting from Maharajah of Calcutta with Original Signature

Personal and Exquisite Royal Greeting
From the Maharajah of Calcutta
With Original Signature

Made for
Sir Francis Stanley Jackson
Governor of Bengal
Six Weeks Before His Attempted Murder
1932


Hathwa Palace [Hathua, Gopalganj District, Bihar State], 1 January 1932. A personal and exquisite New Years’ greeting for Governor of Bengal Sir Francis Stanley Jackson, from the Maharajah Bahadur of Hathwa, signed in the original by the latter “Guru Mahadev Ashram Prasad Sahi”. Single leaf one-off printed document on parchment, with illustrated border, recto framed with exquisite gilt ribbons sequined, embroidered, with tassels, verso backed with pink silk textile, measuring approximately 26,5 x 42 cm. Signature faint, document creased, otherwise in very good condition, nicely preserved, clean and bright, a singular and personal document from royalty of India.

A singular document, elegantly crafted and signed by a Maharajah, commemorates the end of term for Sir Francis Stanley Jackson as British Governor of Bengal.

Sir Francis Stanley Jackson GCSI GCIE KStJ (1870-1947) was a captain in the British Army and served in the Boer War, a Conservative Party MP, Governor of Bengal from 1927 to 1932, and an avid English cricketer. During Stanley’s time at Harrow School his fag [personal servant] was fellow parliamentarian and future Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Only five weeks after this document was made, on 6 February 1932, Jackson narrowly escaped an attempted assassination by a female student named Bina Das as he was making a speech in the Convocation Hall of the University of Calcutta. The girl fired 5 pistol shots at close range, the revolver supplied by another freedom fighter named Kamala Das Gupta. Jackson sidestepped and ducked. Escaping unharmed and smiling the Governor resumed his speech amid cheers. The attacker was tackled and disarmed by Lieutenant-Colonel Hassan Suhrawardy, Vice Chancellor of the University of Calcutta, who was knighted by the King for his heroism. Miss Das was sentenced to nine years of rigorous imprisonment.

Later in the same year (1932), Jackson he was awarded the KStJ (Order of Saint John) and was appointed GCSI (Most Exalted Order of the Star of India). As such, on this document his honour of chivalry is only Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire. He is also recognized with the title P.C., then being a Member of the Privy Council.

Maharaja Guru Mahadev Ashram Prasad Sahi Bahadur, 103rd Maharaja of Hathwa, born 19th July 1893, was granted the title of Maharaja Bahadur in 1914, and was officially installed on 2 December 1914 in a ceremony performed by Sir Charles Stewart Bayly, Lieutenant-Governor of Bihar and Orissa. He died sometime after 1946.

[The Maharaja of Hathwa, belongs to a Baghochhia Brahmin family, that claims to have been settled as Rajas in the district of Saran for over a hundred generations. Hathuwa Raj was a feudal estate belonging to Bhumihars of Baghochia dynasty which encompassed 1,365 villages, was inhabited by more than 391,000 people.]

 

1938 – Archive of Manuscript Drawings & Paintings of Theatrical Pirate Costume Designs by Ernst Stern

Performing Arts Archive
Manuscript Drawings and Paintings of
Theatrical Pirate Costume Designs
By Ernst Stern

A scarce Costumier’s Working Portfolio
B.J. Simmons & Co. Ltd.

Several Actors Drawn and Named
London West End Theatre
1938

 

London, 1938. Archive of 64 manuscript pencil drawings and gouache paintings of pirate costumes designed for specific London actors by Ernst Stern, celebrated designer of theatre costume and scenography, pertaining specifically to the musical play with a comedic nautical theme created by playwright Vivien Ellis titled, “The Fleet’s Lit Up.” These are the finely executed works by an artist of B.J. Simmons & Co. Ltd. after the drawings of Ernst Stern, being the working portfolio of Stern’s costumier. Includes 31 pencil drawings with varying amounts of colouring and annotations, made on single leafs measuring approximately 20 x 25 cm, this group contained in the archival portfolio of B.J. Simmons & Co. Ltd., theatrical costumiers who produced the pirate wardrobes for this play; and 33 extra-large watercolour paintings made on leafs measuring approximately 41 x 25 cm and mounted onto green art paper. Annotations include actors’ and singers’ true names, physical measurements for tailoring costumes, and shoe sizes. Some creasing and occasional age-toning, otherwise in very good condition, beautifully preserved original theatrical art works.

Together with the original programme, with some pencil annotations to the list of actors, by a member of the production team, possibly Stern. 8vo. printed by Stilwell, Derby & Co. Ltd., for the London Hippodrome, where the performance was made, 16 pages including all the ads, original illustrated colour wrappers.

The University of Texas, Harry Ransome Center, holds a voluminous archive of hand drawn and painted costume designs from B.J. Simmons & Co. Ltd., featuring the costumier’s manuscript copies of designs of Ernst Stern and others, and spanning its entire years of business from 1857 to 1964. Some original renderings by Esrnt Stern are held in the Donald Wolfit Papers, also at Harry Ransome Center, Wolfit being a British Shakespearean actor and theatre manager. Stern’s originals are exceedingly scarce.

The large gouache paintings illustrate Stern’s full and final costume design. Appended to some of the larger paintings, and annotated directly on the pencil drawings, are the particulars of a specific actor who is named on the leaf, including body measurements and feet size.

The pencil drawings kept in the B.J. Simmons & Co. Ltd. is a working portfolio which served to record the tailor’s progress, noting which costume elements, shirts, trousers, accessories, and so forth had been fabricated.

Ernst Stern (1876-1954) was a Romanian-German scenic designer who, through his collaborations with the prominent German directors, Max Reinhardt, is credited with an important role in defining the aesthetic of expressionism for both theatre and cinema. Prolific in his artistic field, he designed some ninety shows for the Deutsches Theater in Berlin from 1906 to 1921, continuing at such a pace for the next two decades. Evidently, he was in Hollywood for a brief time in 1922. By 1924, Stern had returned to Germany, working at the Großes Schauspielhaus, where he designed for a number of musical revues and a popular musical. In the late 1920s, Stern also began spending considerable time in London. Stern was in Paris in 1933 and remained in the city for a short time before settling permanently in London in 1934. For the rest of his career he primarily collaborated with British writers at the Savoy Theatre, Aldwych Theatre, and Adelphi Theatre. He also designed the displays for Selfridges for the coronation of King George VI and collaborated with Donald Wolfit on several Shakespeare productions during World War II. Stern was awarded a pension by George VI and died in London.

The firm B.J. Simmons & Co. was a British theatrical costumier, founded in 1857, operating in Covent Garden until 1964. They created stage costumes for hundreds of theatre productions in London, as well as the provinces, and even overseas. Simmons also provided costumes for over one hundred films. During their century-long behind the scenes participation in the performing arts, they produced thousands upon thousands of costumes. Their success was surely due to their strong reputation for historical accuracy and immaculately constructed stage apparel.

So stated in the official programme, “The pirate costumes designed by Professor Ernst Stern and executed by B.J. Simmons & Co. Ltd.” Stern played a major role in this production, designing costumes and stage settings. His name appears multiple times on the “Synopsis of Scenes” where eight of the fourteen design sets are attributed to him.

This two-act play involved a motley crew of pirates – with one especially provocative female lead role, a fleet review, a vessel called the Seahorse, and a voyage to the Near East, all in all a perfect recipe for British entertainment encompassing naval history and tradition.

For Mary Read, the scandalously provocative female pirate “Mary Read”, we find four actors or singers named and illustrated, suggesting that these paintings may have made at the time of audition, and variant costumes being designed for each individual.

Some of the performers we find in the programme, are also named on the costume drawings, providing us with an artistic visual account of the cast. These include:
•   Beatrice Hannah Boarer (1888-1954) as “Polly’s Mistress”
•   Ralph Reader (William Henry Ralph Reader CBE 1903-1982), British actor who later became a very successful theatrical producer and songwriter, who in this play was Lieutenant Jack Prentice
•   Arthur Gomez (1902-1976), the Chancellor in this production
•   Billy Buckland who plays a midshipman, and performed in several plays of the period
•   Goerge Korel who also played a midshipman
•   Robert Hine who played the Department Chief (best remembered for his role in The New Waiter, 1930, performed in at least two other productions).

The artworks further identify these two British actors, not on the principal cast list, therefore probably playing minor roles, or as extras: William “Billy” Tasker (1901-1992) of Cheschire, and Mr. Maresch, possibly being Harald Maresch (1916-1986) whose acting career ended due to the suicide of Lupe Velez who blamed him for her death.

Other actors in this production, whose we find in the programme, include Frances Day (née Frances Victoria Schenk) who was extremely popular for her outrageously sexy and infinitely suggestive acting and who made a show stopping performance of Cole Porter’s song “It’s De-Lovely” in “The Fleet’s Lit Up” and Adele Dixon as ‘The Ranee of Zabalon’ (ranee being the wife of a rajah).

“The Fleet’s Lit Up” was a theatrical performance, advertised as a “musical frolic” and a “Naughtical Musical Play,” first performed in 1938 at the original London Hippodrome, produced and directed by George Black. Such an enormous success, it ran for 199 performances.

Its title was a variant of the then famous words spoken the year before by Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Tommy Woodrooffe and BBC’s Deputy Director of Outside Broadcasting, who, from the deck of HMS Nelson, had exclaimed several times consecutively, “The Fleet is all lit up!” in celebration of the illuminated vessels present for the Coronation Fleet Review by King George VI, 20 May 1937.

The story line: Horatio Roper is an Admiralty clerk, Polly Brown is a saucy nursemaid, Jack Prentice is a Lieutenant in the Navy, and all three start out at the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens, from where they visit the Seahorses Night Club. At the club they are involved in a dream-sequence flashback to 1738, where their good ship “Seahorse” is in battle with a pirate ship headed by the pirate queen, Mary Read. After this they are cruising in the “Seahorse” only to be kidnapped by the Ranee of Zabalon and carried off to her palace. Other scenes involve a ballet in a newspaper office, a cabaret sequence, and a finale depicting the Spithead review.

The playwright was Vivian John Herman Ellis, CBE (1903-1996), a popular English musical comedy composer. He became well known in the London West End theatre community for providing the music and collaborating in the production of a large number of musical shows, from 1925 to 1958. Ellis dominated the musical theatre of the 1930s with up to three shows running most years of the decade.

The producer was George Black (1890-1945), a British theatrical impresario who controlled many entertainment venues during the 1930s-1940s and who was a pioneer of the motion-picture business. In 1928, Black moved to London and took over the management of GTC (General Theatre Corporation), which ran a chain of theatres, cinemas and dance halls. He also took over the management of the London Palladium, which was the flagship of the corporation. The Hippodrome, London in Leicester Square, Brighton Hippodrome and Blackpool Opera House were also under his control. The Fleet’s Lit Up (1938) was the first show he produced in London.

 

 

1857 – Early Geological Survey of New Zealand – von Hochstetter

Foremost New Zealand Geological Survey
Ferdinand von Hochstetter
Austrian Novara Expedition
1857-1859

Early New Zealand Imprint

Dr. F. von Hochstetter; Dr. A. Petermann

Title: The Geology of New Zealand: In Explanation of the Geographical and Topographical Atlas of New Zealand.

Auckland: T. Delattre, 1864. An English translation by Dr. C. F. Fisher, from the Scientific Publications of the Novara Expedition, comprising important and fascinating observations and survey work by German-Austrian geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter at the onset of British settlement in the region. 8vo. 113 pages, plus table of contents, title page. Red cloth boards titled in gilt to front. Volume measures approximately 14 x 21 cm. Faint blemish to boards, otherwise very good condition, clean and bright.

An early work presenting discoveries made in New Zealand, specifically in Auckland and Nelson, during the Austrian Imperial Novara Expedition. It includes two important lectures delivered by esteemed geologist and expedition leader Ferdinand von Hochstetter. A principal member of the expedition, Hochstetter was involved in its planning from the onset. His surveys were used in the making of the first geological map of New Zealand, created the bases for future geological research.

The Novara Expedition (1857-1859) was the first large-scale scientific, around-the-world mission of the Austrian Imperial navy. Seven scientists were onboard, led by geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter and zoologist Georg von Frauenfeld. As well as the notable geological and topographical observations, important botanical research was performed. The first coca plant investigations, in New Zealand and on other islands, resulted in the first use of pure cocaine for medicinal purposes.

In 1859, during the expedition, Hochstetter was funded by the government of New Zealand to make a rapid geological survey of the islands. Over 150 years later, his work is regarded as an authoritative primary source still today. In his diaries kept on this expedition, he penned detailed descriptions which were consulted and found invaluable in 2011 when scientists set out to locate the silica terraces on Lake Rotomahana, which had been buried in the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera. As recent as 2017 his work has been found practical, when his survey of old Lake Rotomahana and the Pink and White Terraces was reverse engineered to provide the coordinates of the Pink, Black and White Terraces.

Following eight pages on the “Chartography of New Zealand” by renowned German cartographer August Heinrich Petermann, the volume’s content centers largely on Hochstetter’s survey of Auckland, beginning with his lecture on the region’s geology. Subjects further include its extinct volcanos, Lake Rotomahana and its hot springs [Te Tarata thermal springs], and three inlets on North Island – Whaingaroa [now known as Raglan], Aotea, and Kawhia. Approximately one quarter of the text is devoted to his geological work in the Province of Nelson.

Dating to the earliest years of British emigration, not long after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 by the British Crown and various Maori chiefs, Hochstetter observed a little-populated New Zealand, providing most fascinating secondary observations.

For example, of the environs of Lake Rotomahana, Hochstetter writes:

“The Lake District… is almost exclusively inhabited by the natives, who have selected the most beautiful and fertile banks of Rotorua and Tarawera as their settlements. The Mission Station at Temu (the Rev. Mr. Spencer’s residence) is at present the only European habitation, and is the resort of many travellers and naturalists…”

“… Hot water bubbles up everywhere… wherever a hole is made… hot steams bursts forth, which we used for cooking our potatoes and meat, spreading them on ferns… native custom.”

“Some of the basins are so large that a person can swim in them… the celebrated Te Tarata spring… The natives assert that the whole water in the principal basin is sometimes ejected suddenly with vast force, and that it is possible to look into the empty basin, thirty feet deep, which fills again speedily.”

Of the extinct volcanos of Auckland, Hochstetter reminisces:

“The name Rangitoto, which signifies ‘Sky of Blood’… the reflection of streams of lava in the nightly sky… Transformed through the diligence and enterprise of the European settler into fertile cultivated districts, the Auckland volcanos are but monuments of a remarkable history of the Maori race.

On their summits were the fortified pas of the chiefs, while at the foot of the hills were distributed the huts and kumera cultivations of the slaves.

… the Maori feudal castles have decayed; the terraces and holes are the only remaining monuments of a brave people which were annihilated in the bloody, cannibal wars of Hongi… in the years 1820 and 1830, and whose deeds live only in song and tradition. ”

The Novara Expedition (1857-1859) was the first large-scale scientific, around-the-world mission of the Austrian Imperial navy. Authorized by Archduke Maximillian, the journey lasted 2 years 3 months, from 30 April 1857 until 30 August 1859. The expedition was accomplished by the frigate Novara, under the command of Kommodore Bernhard von Wüllerstorf-Urbair, with 345 officers and crew, plus 7 scientists aboard. Preparation for the research journey was made by the “Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna” and by specialized scholars under direction of the geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter and the zoologist Georg von Frauenfeld.

The first coca plant investigations, in particular on St. Paul Island, the Nicobar Islands, and on New Zealand, created the bases for future geological research. In 1865, James Hector would produce the first geological map of New Zealand, based on local surveys by Ferdinand Hochstetter at Auckland and Nelson, together with surveys made by others in various regions. The expedition’s introduction of coca plant leaves made it possible to isolate cocaine in its pure form for the first time in 1860. The collections of botanical, zoological (26,000 specimens), and cultural material brought back enriched the Austrian museums, in particular the natural-history museum. They were also studied by Johann Natterer, a scientist who collected Vienna museum specimens during 18 years in South America. The geomagnetic observations made throughout the whole expedition significantly increased the scientific knowledge in this field. The oceanographic research, in particular in the South Pacific, revolutionized oceanography and hydrography.

The results of the voyage were compiled into a 21-binder report of the Viennese Academy of Sciences, titled “Reise der österreichischen Fregatte Novara um die Erde (1861-1876)” (“Journey of the Austrian Frigate Novara Around the Earth”). Also published were many woodcuts under the same title (in 3 volumes, by K. Scherzer 1864-1866).

Christian Gottlieb Ferdinand Ritter von Hochstetter (1829-1884) was a German-Austrian geologist with an illustrious career in his field of expertise. In 1852 he joined the staff of the Imperial Geological Survey of Austria and was engaged until 1856 in the Bohemian Forest, and in the Fichtel Hills and Karlsbad mountains. His excellent reports earned him great acclaim, and he was subsequently selected as geologist to the Novara expedition (1857-1859), during which he made numerous valuable observations. In 1859 he was employed by the government of New Zealand to make a rapid geological survey of the islands. On his return he was appointed in 1860 professor of mineralogy and geology at the Imperial-Royal Polytechnic Institute in Vienna, and also became the tutor of Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria. In 1876 he was made superintendent of the Imperial Natural History Museum. In these later years he explored portions of Turkey and eastern Russia, and he published papers on a variety of geological, paleontological and mineralogical subjects.

New Zealand’s endemic Hochstetter’s frog, Leiopelma hochstetteri, is named after him. Several other species bear his name in their scientific names, including the Takahe, Porphyrio hochstetteri, and Powelliphanta hochstetteri, a species of New Zealand’s giant carnivorous land snails. New Zealand geography also carries his legacy. Hochstetter Peak on Trinity Peninsula in Antarctica is named after Hochstetter, as are New Zealand’s Mount Hochstetter (West Coast Region) and the Hochstetter Dome and Hochstetter Icefall close to the Tasman Glacier.

1851 – Rare Scottish Auction Broadside for Packet Ship Schooner

Rare Auction Broadside
“Stranded Vessel for Sale”

 Packet Ship Schooner
Stranded at Treacherous Beamer Rock
Historic Dalgety Bay in Fife
Scotland
1851

 

Glasgow, 1 November 1851. Packet ship broadside for the auction sale of Glasgow schooner called ‘London Packet’ to take place six days after this announcement, on 7 November 1851, in the harbour of the historic seaport village of St. David’s situated very near to Inverkeithing, Fife. 8vo. Single leaf printed document, watermarked, measuring approximately 28 x 20 cm. Slight creasing, one unobtrusive small chip to lower margin, otherwise in Very Good condition, presenting an exceptionally rare example of an in-situ auction for a vessel.

Lovely and rare broadside from Scotland during the Golden Age of Sail to announce the sale of a Scottish packet ship which had then been recently stranded on the notorious Beamer Rock. The public auction was to begin at noon, 7 November 1851, in the harbour where the vessel sat in situ, in the historic village of St. David’s.

The vessel was part of the early sailing fleet of William Sloan & Co., a notable Scottish firm established in 1825 and operating the largest fleet in Glasgow by 1848. The principle owners of the firm were Scottish chemist and industrialist Charles Tennant (1768-1838) who discovered bleaching powder and founded an industrial dynasty in Scotland, and his daughter’s son William Sloan who became a leading shipper.

If one entertains superstition, the name “London Packet” may have carried some misfortune in this fleet. Their first vessel to bear this name was a sloop built in 1825, one of the three original vessels invested in, and was lost at sea in 1835. “London Packet (2)” was the schooner described above, built in 1837 and evidently stranded at Beamer Rock in 1851. It is not known who purchased her at the auction, but in 1854 she was sold to a J. Barrie of Arbroath. Three years later on 27 July 1857 she was abandoned in the North Sea on a fateful passage from Stettin to Ipswich.

The origins of firm William Sloan & Co. date to 1825 when William Sloan, nephew of chemical manufacturer Charles Tennant, began transporting products for his uncle’s company St. Rollox Chemical Works. In 1825 a group of investors had purchased three ships to transport the products from this company to Glasgow to Newcastle, Hull and London. Presumably using the firm’s three vessels, Sloan operated his transport service under the name of St. Rollox Shipping Company. In 1831 William Sloan purchased a number of shares of his first ship, the Glasgow Packet.

In 1848, William Sloan and Charles Tennant joined in partnership and began trading as William Sloan & Co. to augment the fleet and expand cargo and passenger service. They operated a number of schooners and sloops such as London Packet [named here], Glasgow Packet, Hope, St Rollox, Charles Tennant, John Tennant, Ann Gibson, Thames, Christina, Countess of Mar, James Paxton, Mercury, Hull Packet, Gratitude, Sibella, and others. At the beginning of the 1840’s, the company owned and operated 15 vessels, and in 1848 they had the largest fleet in Glasgow, running 19 vessels.

In 1851, the company purchased its first steamship, which sailed between Glasgow and London until 1859. A weekly steamer service was introduced by the company in 1852, and in the same year the WS & Co. purchased the Thames and Clyde Screw Shipping Company. Several steam vessels would be purchased and put into operation in the 1850s and into the following decades. Contemporary to this document, circa 1851/52, William Sloan & Co. also became agents for the Glasgow Screw Steam Ship Company who were offering service between Glasgow and London. In 1858 Sloan added a service from Glasgow to Belfast, Britsol and Swansea. With the increase of steamships, the original fleet of sailing vessels was steadily reduced until the last one was sold in 1866. In 1891 the firm acquired Robert Henderson & Company of Belfast. William Sloan died in 1910, his own nephew George remaining as the last survivor of the original partners. Two ships were lost to enemy action during the Great War and by 1918 only six ships were owned. After the war, vessels were purchased and operations resumed in full force. More than a century after its founding, in 1958, William Sloan & Co. was purchased by Coast Lines Ltd.

Originally spelt “Bimar Rock”, a tower on Beamer Rock was built in 1826 on the small rocky hazardin the Firth of Forth between Lothian and Fife, close to Port Edgar, and guards the entrance to Rosyth dockyard and the inner Forth. Only 6 metres (20 feet) high, it was intended as a day marker as it could not accommodate a light keeper. The tower had a curved wave-washed design which had been used before on the more impressive Eddystone and Bell Rock Lighthouses. A fixed white light would be mounted on the tower in 1892, forty-one years after the above described nautical incident. The light was visible for 9 nautical miles. The tower was removed in 2011.

The development of the industrial harbour of St David’s began in 1752 when Sir Robert Henderson, laird of Fordell, purchased a small piece of ground facing the Firth of Forth where he built a harbour for exporting coal from his Fordell pits. A village subsequently emerged, which was called St Davids. In the late twentieth century, the village would be replaced with a new modernised town called Dalgety Bay. The latter was named for the true original village on the site, preceding the village of St David’s and built on the site of the 12th century St Bridget’s Kirk, and removed by order of the Earls of Moray towards the end of the 18th century. Today Dalgety Bay is a dormitory suburb of Edinburgh.

Less than 3 miles from St David’s [now Dalgety Bay] is Inverkeithing, a town in Fife, Scotland, located on the Firth of Forth.

Packet ships, packet liners, or simply packets, were sailing ships in the early 1800s which departed port on a regular schedule. The typical packet sailed between American and British ports, and the ships themselves were designed for the North Atlantic, where storms and rough seas were common. The first of the packet lines was the Black Ball Line, which began sailing between New York City and Liverpool in 1818. The sail packets were eventually replaced by steamships, and the phrase “steam packet” became common in the mid-1800s. These were the predecessor to the fast and glamorous clipper ships.


1880 Calendar of Prisoners – HM Prison at Canterbury in Kent – Thieves and Fraudsters

Canterbury, October 1880. Calendar of Prisoners tried, charged, and imprisoned at Her Majesty’s Prison at Canterbury. Original court document, with manuscript annotations by the clerk, listing nine convicts and three persons on bail. Folio. 3 pages, printed at the Kentish Observer Steam Printing Office in Canterbury. Double leaf measuring approximately 27 x 42 cm. Chips to margins, otherwise in very good condition.

“Calendar of Prisoners for Trial at the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, to be holden at St. Augustine’s, near Canterbury, on Tuesday, the 19th day of October, 1880.”

Felonies herein recorded consisted mainly of thievery and fraud having taken place in East Kent, although two deal with the crime of “unlawfully wounding” a person. Presented in a succinct chart, the location and date of each crime, the date of warrant and arrest, and specific charges are outlined. The victims are named, as is each felon and his occupation. Items stolen include a handkerchief, watches, coats, a shovel, cash currency, wool, 20 feet of a leather band, and in one instance a sail and a yard for navigation, which certainly draws attention to the drastically different crimes occupying the early court system.

As well as the criminals, the title page names the High Ssheriff of Kent, the under-sheriff, the clerk of the peace, and the Chairman of the East Kent Division – Right Honourable Lord Brabourne. [Edward Hugessen Knatchbull-Hugessen, 1st Baron Brabourne, PC, a British Liberal politician who served as Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department under Lord Russell in 1866, and under William Ewart Gladstone from 1868 to 1871. He was also Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies under Gladstone from 1871 to 1874. He was admitted to the Privy Council in 1873 and raised to the peerage as Baron Brabourne, of Brabourne in the County of Kent, in 1880.] [The High Sheriff of Kent was at the time Sir David Salomons, 1st Baronet, a leading figure in the 19th century struggle for Jewish emancipation in the United Kingdom, the first Jewish Sheriff of the City of London and Lord Mayor of London.

Originating as a county gaol in 1808, Her Majesty’s (HM) Prison Canterbury, in Kent, served as a Home Office archive during the First World War, as a Naval Detention Centre during the Second World War, and reopened in 1946 as a local prison to serve the courts of Kent. The prison formally closed on 31 March 2013, and was bought by Canterbury Christ Church University in April 2014.

 

1941 Mini WWII Archive of a Political POW – Sergeant Major Wege – Belgian Resistance Army During German Occupation

Kingdom of Belgium, 1922-1957. Archive of military service papers and identification cards of Sergeant Major René Jules Charles Wege of Liège, a Walloon Belgian who was held captive by the Germans as a political prisoner of war for 53 days in 1941. Comprises 7 printed military documents completed in manuscript, bearing stamps and signatures, and including 4 small portrait identification photographs. All documents are in French, a single exception being the POW recognition card which is in both French and Dutch. Documents range in size, the smallest card being a single leaf measuring approximately 8 x 10.5 cm, and his personal army booklet being 21 pages and measuring approximately 10 x 14.5 cm. Together with a manuscript copy of a sympathetic letter received from the wife of a deceased German soldier, written in English, during or following the Second World War.

Attached to the Belgian Army from the age of twenty-one, volunteering later in the Liberation Army to fight against the German occupation, then the Armed Resistance Forces, and being active in the clandestine sabotage efforts of the ‘Union Nationale de la résistance’, this gallant Sergeant was awarded the Resistance Army medal, and the Commemorative Medal of the 1940-1945 War (Médaille commémorative de la guerre 1940-1945).

This fascinating and informative lot of military documents belonging to a surviving World War II Political POW taken by the German Gestapo outlines his valorous service in the fight for his nation’s liberation. Further biographic research is warranted in terms of the Belgian Sergeant’s captivity, release, and unexpected benevolence towards a German officer.

Sergent Major René Jules Charles Wege, born 1901 in Liège, entered the Belgian Army 30 November 1922, serving for one year. He joined the volunteer forces 1 February 1936, serving until 26 December 1945, during which time, in April and May he was taken prisoner by the German Army. On 13 June, after a recovery period, he returned, and served until 31 March 1957. He received veteran’s military pension from April 1957.

In 1941 The German secret state police was targeting resistance groups in Belgium, infiltrating the resistance network with informants to betray participants and to examine resistance publications for intelligence. They took over the former Belgian army Fort Breendonk, near Mechelen, which was used for torture and interrogation of political prisoners and members of the resistance. Around 3,500 inmates passed through the camp at Breendonk where they were kept in extremely degrading conditions. Around 300 people were killed in the camp itself, with at least 98 of them dying from deprivation or torture. It is probably that Sergeant Wege was a victim of this prison camp, as it was situated only one hour from Liège.

The archive includes the following:

A Political Prisoner of War identification card [No. 162.052] issued to Wege by the ‘Ministère de la reconstruction’ in recognition of 53 days in captivity from 2 April to 29 May 1941. Complete with his photograph. Excerpts: “Carte de Prisonnier Politique 1940-1945: Wege, René J.C…. a été prisionnier politique ayant subi un captivité de 2 avril 41 au 29 mai 41, 53 jours…”

Three cards stamped and signed, issued to Wege pertaining to his membership in the clandestine Armée de la Libération [Belgian Liberation Army].

The Sergeant’s personal military book and his statement of services card detailing his assignments with the Belgian Army during the Second World War, each with an identification photograph. With the Resistance Army, from 10 May to 11 June 1940 Wege was with the 12 ième régiment de ligne (an infantry unit of the Belgian armed forces). In the spring of 1941 he was a captive in German hands. From 10 February 1943 to 14 October 1944 he was attached to the Résistant armé (Armed Resistance Forces). From 24 September 1944 to 17 December 1944 he was assigned to the Auditorat Militaire de Liège (Military auditors of Liege), and from 18 December 1944 to 8 May 1945 to the 1006 ième Compagnie des transports automobiles (a battalion designed to sabotage German transport lines).

A summary of his military service , dated 31 May 1966, issued at his request by the Ministry of Defence, signed and stamped

An uplifting note from a German widow, which reveals that in spite of his captivity and any ill-treatment at the hands of the Germans, Wege held no prejudice against the common folk. The note reads as follows,
“It is my heartfelt desire to thank you for your sympathy with my sorrow at the loss of my husband, The honour you did to him a German is proof to me that it only needs personal contact to establish relations of mutual esteem. This will be a ray of light in my dark hour. [signed] Mrs. Sophie Hahn”

The Belgian Resistance (Résistance belge, Belgisch verzet) refers to the resistance movements opposed to the German occupation of Belgium during World War II. Aside from sabotage of military infrastructure in the country and assassinations of collaborators, these groups also published large numbers of underground newspapers, gathered intelligence and maintained various escape networks that helped Allied airmen trapped behind enemy lines escape German-occupied Europe. The resistance included both men and women from both Walloon and Flemish parts of the country.

German forces invaded Belgium, which had been following a policy of neutrality, on 10 May 1940. After 18 days of fighting, Belgium surrendered on 28 May and was placed under German occupation. During the fighting, some 600,000 or more Belgian men (nearly 20% of the country’s entire male population) served in the military, many of whom were made prisoners of war and detained in camps in Germany, although some were released before the end of the war.

Many of the first members of the Belgian resistance were former soldiers, and in particular officers, who, on their return from prisoner of war camps, wished to continue the fight against the Germans out of patriotism. Most of the resistance was focused in the French-speaking areas of Belgium (Wallonia and the city of Brussels), although Flemish involvement in the resistance was also significant. Around 70% of underground newspapers were in French, and 60% of political prisoners were Walloons, as was Sergeant Wege.

In 1941 the Germans requisitioned the former Belgian army Fort Breendonk, near Mechelen, which was used for torture and interrogation of political prisoners and members of the resistance. Around 3,500 inmates passed through the camp at Breendonk where they were kept in extremely degrading conditions. Around 300 people were killed in the camp itself, with at least 98 of them dying from deprivation or torture.

L’Armée de la Libération était un mouvement de la résistance intérieure belge durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale né à la fin de l’année 1940 dans la mouvance des démocrates-chrétiens. L’armée belge de la Libération est fondée à Liège, par des militants qui en recrutèrent les membres au sein des mouvements de jeunesse et des syndicats démocrates-chrétiens. L’A.L. s’appuiera également sur un important contingent issu des forces de police ou de la gendarmerie. Ses membres s’occupent avec la presse clandestine: édition du journal La Vérité, le renseignement, rendre le secours aux réfractaires, aux clandestins, et aux populations juives, ainsi que le sabotage.

Liège is a major city and a municipality in of Belgium, located in the province of the same name, and is part of the Walloon region (mostly French-speaking). Walloons are a distinctive ethnic community of French-speaking people who live in Belgium, principally in Wallonia. Important historical and anthropological criteria (religion, language, traditions, folklore) bind Walloons to the French people. More generally, the term also refers to the inhabitants of the Walloon Region. They speak regional languages such as Walloon (with Picard in the West and Lorrain in the South).

1855 German Manuscript Dedicated to Queen Marie – Kingdom of Hanover – ‘Voyage to California’

Hanover, 1855. 8vo. 32 page German manuscript, a poetic or theatrical composition dealing with California and dedicated to Queen Marie, Consort of King George V of Hanover, during the California Gold Rush. Dedication page, written in French, signed and dated by ‘Gontard’ who was an affluent art collector and chairman of an elite German art museum, and whom had evidently just met the Queen in person at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. Exquisite red morocco binding by Hof-buchbinders Wilhelm Ermold (binder to the Royal Hanover Court), beautifully finished in gilt with a crowned monogram ‘M’ for Marie, royal blue cloth endpapers, satin bow dividers. Evidence of an imbedded gift-wrapping ribbon to boards, slight foxing to first few leafs, otherwise very good condition, internally clean and bright, a pleasing work in an elegant binding fit for royalty.

Title: Die Reise nach Californien. Nach dem französischen bearbeitet von Eduard Suhren. [A Voyage to California. From the French, edited by Edward Suhren.]

The ambiguously titled manuscript may be a German rendition of the French theatrical opera by Dondey Dupré titled “Le voyage en Californie ou notice explicative du panorama” which concerned travels across the United States and explorations in the West – by John Charles Fremont, first explorer to cross the Sierra Nevada in winter, foremost US Senator, abolitionist, who prospered during the California Gold Rush. Content includes the explorer’s sighting of pines in the Sierra Nevada oak forest at 3500 feet, melting gold, and so forth. Frémont’s father was a native of France, who died only eight years after the French Revolution. As such, his gallant endeavours and accomplishments in the New World would certainly garner much attention in France, as with other European nations with colonies abroad. The French opera was first publicly performed 8 August 1850 in Paris, at the Théâtre des Variétés. Gontard, who met the queen, and dedicates this manuscript to her, may have been involved in a German production, performed for the House of Hanover.

A full page dedication inscription, in French, is addressed to the Queen of Hanover, by Huguenot descendant Jakob Friedrich Moritz Gontard (1826-1886), chairman and administrator of the Städel art museum in Frankfurt, officially the Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie. Queen consort of Hanover from 1851 to 1878, née Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, recipient of this dedicated manuscript, was the wife of King George V of Hanover, the last monarch of the short-lived Kingdom of Hanover. In his dedication, dated Hanover, 12 July 1855, Gontard thanks the monarch for having come to see his panorama at the International Exhibition held on the Champs-Elysées, stating that her visit inspired the work which forms the volume, and which he humbly offers to her. He references materials which were given to her onsite, which would elucidate the obscure details of the creative piece. The date indicates that King George V and Queen Marie of the short-lived Kingdom of Hanover attended the event in its first eight weeks. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom paid a visit to the Parisian Exhibition in August.

Unique manuscript volume, bound in the Royal Court of Hanover, written at the height of the California Gold Rush and featuring historic Americana content.

Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, Queen of Hanover, (1818-1907) was the consort of George V, and Duchess of Cumberland and Tevoitdale. (Her full name is Alexandrine Marie Wilhelmine Katharine Charlotte Theresia Henriette Luise Pauline Elisabeth Friederike Georgine.) Her husband, King George, was expelled from his kingdom in 1866 as a result of his support for Austria in the Austro-Prussian War, and on 20 September 1866, the Kingdom was annexed by Prussia. Nevertheless, George never abdicated. He, Marie and their children lived in exile at Gmunden, in Austria, until George’s death in 1878. On 18 September 1872, Queen Marie was godmother to Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein.

The Kingdom of Hanover (1814-1866) (Königreich Hannover) was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (known informally as the Electorate of Hanover), and joined with 38 other sovereign states in the German Confederation. The kingdom was ruled by the House of Hanover, in personal union with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1837, before being conquered by Prussia in 1866.

A grand International Exhibition was held on the Champs-Elysées in Paris from 15 May to 15 November, 1855, to show progress in agriculture, industry and art. Its full official title was the Exposition Universelle des produits de l’Agriculture, de l’Industrie et des Beaux-Arts de Paris 1855. Today the exposition’s sole physical remnant is the Théâtre du Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées designed by architect Gabriel Davioud, which originally housed the Panorama National. The exposition was a major event in France, then newly under the reign of Emperor Napoleon III. The industrial and art exhibits were considered superior to those of all previous international exhibitions. Napoleon hosted a grand dinner on 25 August 1855 in the Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, with Queen Victoria as the guest of honor.

The Gontard family were Huguenots who came to Frankfurt from Grenoble in 1685; many were were wine-merchants, and later bankers in Frankfurt. Jakob Friedrich Moritz Gontard (1826-1886), chairman and administrator of the Städel art museum in Frankfurt, officially the Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie. Gontard was also a private collector, and bequeathed approximately thirty paintings, mainly Dutch and Flemish Baroque works, among them the work of Adriaen Brouwers.

John Charles Frémont (1813-1890), sometimes called ‘Conqueror of California’ or ‘The Great Pathfinder’ was an American explorer, soldier and political leader, born in Savannah, Georgia, on the 21st of January 1813. His father, a native of France, died when the boy was in his sixth year, and his mother, a member of an aristocratic Virginia family, then removed to Charleston, South Carolina.