[SECOND ANGLO-BOER WAR] Group of concert programmes printed on board Hospital Ship “Nubia”, 1902-03.
[At sea] : HMHS “Nubia”, April 1902 – July 1903. Eleven shipboard programmes, nine of which are in uniform format, being roneo-printed on both sides of a single foolscap sheet that is folded once to form  sides, 205 x 165 mm; one printed on both sides of a half foolscap sheet (i.e. with only 2 sides), 205 x 165 mm; and one printed recto only of a foolscap sheet; the majority of the programmes are dated, the earliest concert being 26 April 1902 and the latest 26 July 1903; two of the programmes, including one for a special Coronation Day concert on 9 August 1902, feature original hand colouring; a few dog-eared corners and some light handling wear, otherwise all examples are complete and in very good condition; [together with] ‘Permit to Land according to Martial Law Regulations’, roneo printed card, 60 x 90 mm, an improvised shipboard printed document utilising the verso of a lithographed P. & O. passenger card, with manuscript entry ‘Mr. S.P. Sabin, 4th Officer’, signed by ‘H. Andrews’, Master, with Sabin’s later pencilled annotation ‘South African War 1901’; fine; [together with] ‘G.D. Jackson Commanding Officer, “Nubia”, in Girly-Girly’, watercolour on paper, sheet 275 x 190 mm, signed lower right ‘S.P. Sabin’, with pencilled caption of the artist to lower margin; fine.
SS Nubia was a passenger-cargo steamer built for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company and launched in December 1894. Between 1899 and 1903, during the Second Anglo-Boer War, Nubia was used as a hospital and transport ship, making several return voyages between Southampton and Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.
The present group of extremely scarce ephemeral publications made on board Nubia was saved for posterity by the ship’s 4th Officer, S.P. Sabin. The programmes, together with the card and watercolour, were loosely inserted in an album of memorabilia spanning Sabin’s career as a P. & O. employee.
Provenance: Sabin’s complete album was sold by Christie’s, London, in 2001; with some items removed, the album was subsequently offered for sale through Swann Galleries, New York, Maps & Atlases, Natural History and Color Plate Books, December 8 2016, lot 391.