[NEW ZEALAND] Sketches made by a passenger on board the ship Cape Finisterre, London to Lyttleton, 1878-79
The emigrant ship Cape Finisterre sailed from London in December 1878, and arrived at Lyttelton, New Zealand, on 31 March 1879. One of the passengers on board was James J. Ledger, whose hand-illustrated manuscript journal In Search of a Home at the Antipodes documents his voyage experience. Ledger’s important journal is now held in the collection of the Alexander Turnbull Library (Ref: MSX-9415). References in the captions beneath the sketches laid down on the two album leaves we offer here – including specific dates, as well as the ship’s name – clearly indicate that they originate from an album kept by an unidentified emigrant who travelled as a 2nd Class passenger on the same voyage of the Cape Finisterre as Ledger. The sketches even include views of the same iceberg as that illustrated by Ledger in his journal, which was sighted in the southern Indian Ocean on Ash Wednesday, February 26 1879.
Album leaf 1. 350 x 300 mm (sheet). Five pencil sketches with captions in pencil and ink (largest 113 x 180 mm; in very good condition, a couple of minor toning spots); subjects include views of the interior of the artist’s cabin; a passing ship, the Kaffir, sighted between Tristan da Cunha and Cape of Good Hope on February 6 1879 – the ship’s name, and that of the Cape Finisterre, are spelled out in marine signal flags by the artist; “caricatures of two Cape Finisterreans”, fellow passegers Atkinson (who has been to New Zealand before) and Leslie (who is going to New Zealand for the first time); the artist’s depiction of himself reclining in his favourite hammock, “My little Heaven in the tropics”; and a portrait of a sailor who was chained to the deck on January 5 1879 as punishment for stealing £5.
Album leaf 2. 350 x 300 mm (sheet). Six pencil sketches with captions in pencil (largest 119 x 180 mm; in very good condition, one small toning spot); subjects include two views of the Canary Islands; a view of Tristan da Cunha “50 miles distant”, February 3 1879; two views of the iceberg that was also illustrated by Ledger in his journal, sighted on Ash Wednesday, February 26 1879, in Latitude 44° (south) Longitude 51° (east), “about 200 miles to the N.E. of the Crozet Isles”; and a diagrammatic sketch of the Southern Cross constellation, “as seen about 9 p.m., 37° Latitude (south) 10º Longitude (east).”
Album leaf 2. (verso). Large format photographic view of Auckland; albumen print, 235 x 285 mm; laid down on the album page, with fold lines and wrinkling; faint contemporary inscription verso of print is partially legible (in reverse!), ‘View of Auckland ….’