Published 6th June 2014
Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood's next Maritime Auction of 11th June 2014 has a good selection for collectors on offer. The maritime ceramics section contains twenty lots of Tek Sing cargo from the Amoy trader that sank off the Indonesian coast in 1822. Salvaged in 1999, some of the pieces are in remarkable condition given the length of time they lay at the bottom on Belvidere shoals.
Many pieces have local and historical interest and in particular the Hughes & Sons sextant (MA14/80) presented to Mr R Hall of the SS Trevessa by Brixham Baptist Church. After sinking on 4th June 1923, the crew spent the next 26 days in open life boats on the open sea, their story becoming the biggest news story of 1923.
Early ships instruments and chronometers are still one of the strongest sections within the sale, as the two day marine chronometer by Charles Shepherd demonstrates (MA14/89). Shepherd is perhaps better know for fitting the first master and slave clocks that used the dropping of the Greenwich ball in 1852.
As well as a selection of scrimshaw and sailors woolwork (MA14/133), the sale also has a strong Nelson connection. A handwritten note by Nelson dated 1803 (MA14/147) should attract a great deal of interest, as should the impressive 'Foudroyant' wall cabinet made from salvaged ships timbers (MA14/179).
The impressive career and service medal group of Admiral Sir George Willies Watson (1827-1897) is further enhanced by a collection of personal effects and scrap book that highlights life in the Royal navy during the 19th century (MA14/155)
The Nelson theme continues within the maritime models section of the sale with a 19th century model of HMS Nelson (MA14/199) while the maritime pictures section has two maritime scenes by notable Irish artists including George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (MA14/231).