Tag Archives: Collectable

Pervis Young’s letter to passengers

Thanks to Ian Wilkinson for sending me scans of this leaflet. It was produced to give to passengers on ships which called at Pitcairn Island, and is signed by Pervis Young. Pervis Ferris Young (1928-2003) was magistrate of Pitcairn Island from 1967 until 1975. He was the son of Andrew Young, Pitcairn’s first radio operator.

Pervis was sketched by the late Jennifer Toombs, stamp designer, for her 1972 South Pacific Commission stamp, where he is shown third from the left. Jennifer spent ten days on Pitcairn in 1966 when Pervis was her mentor and guide.


Collectables – Serviette (Napkin) Ring

A very popular souvenir produced for sale to passengers on the Remuera was the serviette or napkin ring. These don’t appear to have been in use on the ship, but just produced for sale along with many other items including teaspoons, lighters, goblets, vases, table lamps, bottle openers and even embroidered cushions. The souvenir shop must have been bulging at the beginning of each voyage.

The website RMS Remuera shows a further four designs of serviette rings, dating back to at least 1926.


3rd Class Dining Saloon

Very early postcard view of the 3rd Class Dining Saloon with no sign of serviette rings

1st Class Dining Saloon

Another postcard, this time showing the 1st Class Dining Saloon. The serviette rings are seen inserted in the glasses. Would they have done this in rough weather I wonder?

A mystery photograph

Mystery-ship-sun-bedsOn a recent visit to a local postcard fair, I managed to purchase this atmospheric real photo postcard taken on board a mystery ship. I love these photographs because they make me want to take a walk along the deck, maybe rest a while in a sun bed, or just watch the open sea. Where are the passengers? Perhaps all taking lunch, or maybe on a shore excursion?

There are very few clues, but what got me most interested was the back. I have a small collection of 1920s photographs by New Zealand Shipping Company barber/photographer Henry George Keyse. Some of his photographs feature the back style shown below, and this mystery photograph has the same back. Now I don’t even know if it is a New Zealand Shipping Company vessel, and it is my great hope that one of the readers of this blog will be able to help me out. I have reproduced the whole postcard which you can click to see a larger image, and also a selection of close up areas which I hope will act as little clues to, as Hercule Poirot would say, get your little grey cells working!

Please, if you can help in any way, give me your views in a comment.

This is the back of a Henry Keyse postcard from the 1920s. The postcard above has the same back style, including the sun logo, but without the publisher text on the left hand side.

This is the back of a Henry Keyse postcard from the 1920s. The postcard above has the same back style, including the sun logo, but without the publisher text on the left hand side.


Collectables – Silver Goblet

Goblet-1I have been unable to find out much about this New Zealand Shipping Company goblet, other than the details given by the eBay vendor. I managed to purchase it for an incredibly low price (£3.20 plus delivery), and I like it very much, so really the actual age does not matter to me. It has the letters NZSC engraved on the side of the bowl, and on the bottom there are details which can clearly be read in the photograph shown below (click on it to enlarge).

Goblet-2Manufactured by Mappin & Webb, the item is described as Prince’s Plate (silver plate). It is 11.5cm from top to bottom, and the top is 9cm in diameter. The vendor stated that the initials G.S. on the bottom indicate a date of between 1890 and 1895, but according to my research online, it is very difficult to date Mappin & Webb items, in fact their method of dating is still unknown. I do know that Prince’s Plate was first advertised from about 1890, so that would be the earliest date. I have contacted the company to see if they could assist with a date of manufacture and hope to report back here later.*

Goblet-3It is a heavy item (252g), but rather uneven . . . I can imagine it having fallen from tables on several occasions in rough seas. If stood upside down now, it rocks slightly. I like to think of it as being in use on one of the oldest of the Company’s ships, perhaps being used by one of the old Ruahine’s 74 first class passengers, but I guess that more likely, and less romantically, it was simply sold as a souvenir.

I have made the rather wobbly video below to show off the goblet. If you can provide any further information, please comment in a reply to this blog entry.

*I have had a reply from Mappin & Webb, but unfortunately I am no wiser. If you can help with a dating method, please let me know. They did not realise my purchase price when I contacted them, but I don’t really want to spend more than I paid for the item to get a valuation!

Dear David, Thank you for your message. I advise that Aurum Holdings became the owners of Mappin & Webb in 2005. Regretfully we do not hold a product archive and are unable to assist you in identifying the date of manufacture. You may be able to get some clarity of its origin, year of manufacture from a auction house or assessor in your locality. Alternatively our showrooms offer a valuation service in which they would identify the year of manufacture and advise of the current replacement /resale value, currently the charge for this service is £60 and takes approximately three weeks to complete. I hope this information is of assistance. Yours sincerely, The Mappin & Webb Team


Collectables – Pen Knife

NZSCpenknifeI purchased this little pen knife on eBay several years ago. Sadly, I have no idea how old it is. Interestingly, one side of the knife has “Federal Steam Navigation Co Ltd”, whilst the other has “New Zealand Shipping Co Ltd”. The website theshipslist.com states that the Federal Steam Navigation Company was formed in 1895, and that in 1912 it was taken over by the New Zealand Shipping Company but continued to trade as a separate concern. So the only thing I know for certain is that the pen knife was produced after 1912. It is still in excellent condition and quite sharp.

NZSCpenknife-back(size)Many interesting items were produced as souvenirs for passengers over the years. These were often sold by the ship’s hairdresser or barber along with postcards. I hope to show more items on this blog soon.

If you have any interesting NZSC collectables, or can add further information, please add a message to this blog entry. Thank you.