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Crowninshield, Francis Boardman, comp. The story of George Crowninshield's yacht, Cleopatra's Barge on a voyage of pleasure to the Western islands and the Mediterranean, 1816–1817. Boston: Privately Printed [D.B. Updike, The Merrymount Press], 1913. 4to (29 cm, 11.4"). xii, 259,  pp.; 39 plts. (incl. 4 fold.). $200.00
D.B. Updike's Merrymount Press printing of an early 19th-century narrative of the voyages of members of the influential Crowninshield family of Salem, MA, through the Azores, Madeira, Tangier, Spain, France, and more, aboard the then –newly crafted Cleopatra's Barge. The travelogue was "compiled from journals, letters, and log-book" by a later member of the family. Cleopatra's Barge, in the journey described here, is credited as being the first pleasure craft to successfully cross the Atlantic; the ship was later sold to King Kamehameha II of Hawaii.
The work is split into an introduction about George Crowninshield and the ship's construction, the voyage itself, a conclusion detailing the loss of both George and Cleopatra's Barge, and a section titled "Account of the 'Jefferson'," which briefly explores the yacht's time as a privateer during the War of 1812. The text is profusely illustrated with facsimiles of source material, pictures taken from the yacht's journal, paintings, and other images. The endpapers were designed by W.A. Dwiggins and are illustrated in three different tones in a watercolor style.
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Updike, Merrymount Press, 390. Not in Agner, Books of WAD (!). Publisher's red cloth, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, front cover with floral and ribbon frame surrounding lettering, back gilt-stamped in a panel design, top edge gilt, others untrimmed; gently rubbed, corners slightly bowing inwards, untrimmed edges dust-soiled. Small specklings to paper, from manufacture; light age-toning and occasional offsetting from plates to opposite pages. A readable and evocative text, often opinionated, that is much enhanced by its well-chosen and well-produced illustrations. (38835) Please RESHELVE This.
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