Catalog Archive
Auction 126, Lot 815

"[Lot of 10 Engravings - The Great Eastern]", Illustrated London News

Subject: Ships

Period: 1859 (dated)


Color: Black & White

11 x 16 inches
27.9 x 40.6 cm
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This lot of wood engravings illustrate one the world's largest ship of its time. The Great Eastern was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the important and profitable Far East and Australia route. She had the capacity to carry 4,000 passengers around the world without refueling. Begun in 1851, news of the ambitious project filled the newspapers and crowds of sightseers converged on the shipyard to watch the largest ship in the world being built. The Great Eastern was ready to begin sea trials in August 1858. But the voyage was struck by disaster when a massive explosion ripped through the paddle engine room and the grand saloon. After repairs, the ship finally made its maiden voyage in June 1860. By this time the company was on the verge of bankruptcy and could no longer afford to use the Great Eastern on the Australia run. Instead it was used for a number of other routes, none commercially successful. It did however, lay the first commercial Trans Atlantic Cable in 1866. The lot includes one double-page view of "The Grand Saloon of the Great Eastern" (19.4 x 14.3"); the others are all single-sheet, dated from July-October 1859


Condition: A+

Estimate: $200 - $300

Sold for: $100

Closed on 12/3/2008