Lot 238: LIEUT. WILLIAM A. BLAKE, LETTERBOOK AND TWO DIARIES COMMANDING CUSTOMS LAUNCHES IN HONG KONG, 1890-1896

Sotheby's

November 7, 2016, 1:00 PM GMT
London, United Kingdom
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Description: 1) Lined notebook with daily diary entries, 14--31 May 1890 in black ink, followed by copy letters sent 2 June 1890--7 February 1893 from the Kwan Tin, reporting the ship's movements on patrols in Hong Kong waters, including the pursuit of smugglers and seizure of opium, also problems with the ship and crew, in pencil, altogether c.150 pages, folio, half roan on marbled boards, worn, upper hinge split 2) Imperial English and Chinese Diary and Almanac for 1895, with daily entries in ink, from January to March studying Chinese in Tientsin, recording news of the Sino-Japanese War including news of the Battle of Weihaiwei and suicide of Admiral Ding Ruchang, then returning to Hong Kong and appointed Commander of the launch the Kwan Lui, thereafter patrolling Hong Kong waters, also with months expenses, folio, interleaved with blotting paper, with an ink and pencil sketch of the Great Wall at Shenhaiguan  3) Imperial English and Chinese Diary and Almanac for 1896, with daily entries in ink, continuing to patrol Hong Kong waters on the Kwan Lui, with regular reference to his pursuit of smugglers and pirates, until hospitalised in November ("...Still in Hospital very bad, seeing all sorts of devils afraid I shall lose my reason, this is the effect of trying to cure myself with Brandy and Narcotics...", 23 November 1896), thereafter stationed on shore at Kap Shui Mun, also with month expenses, folio, interleaved with blotting paper [with:] Two cabinet card photographic portraits of Blake, one by Pun Lun of Hong Kong depicting him with a colleague in uniform, one by Wiley of Brisbane in naval uniform captioned on the reverse ("W. A. Blake chief Gunner Queensland Navy"), and a silk painting of a western sailor 
Condition Report: Condition is described in the main body of the catalogue, where appropriate.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
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