2018-04-24-2019-01-19 --- 2019-01-19 14:30:09--18
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LOT :32
Estimate EUR : €18,000.00 - €22,000.00
Auction Date : 24-04-2018


A FINE GEORGE IV IRISH SILVER PRESENTATION SALVER TO CAPTAIN DONNAN OF PADDLE STEAMER 'THAMES', Dublin 1824, mark of William Nolan, of large proportions, and shaped circular form, the central reserve simply engraved with a depiction of the steamer and the inscription 'THE DIRECTORS OF THE DUBLIN AND LONDON STEAM MARINE COMPANY IN TESTIMONY OF THEIR APPROVAL OF THE ZEAL AND ABILITY MANIFESTED BY CAPTN. DONNAN IN THE COMMAND OF THE COMPANY'S VESSEL THE THAMES HAVE AT THEIR INDIVIDUAL EXPENSE PRESENTED HIM WITH THIS PIECE OF PLATE / Boardroom Dublin March 1830', enclosed by a broad band of decoration profusely embossed and chased with four human masks in the Renaissance taste, lions, eagles, griffin and horses, rococo scrolls, fruiting vines, foliate and floral, within a raised boarder finely decorated with shells, flowers and scroll motifs, enclosing the central reserve, raised on four cast acanthus capped paw feet (c.124 troy ozs), 51cm diameter; together with;

The Paddle steamer Thames crossing the Channel
Oil on canvas, 55 x 83cm
Signed and dated 'W. Dunnage, 1831'

The SS Thames, formerly the Argyle, has been marked in the Anglo-Irish maritime annals as a pioneering steamship, known as the first cross-channel steamer in the world.

Though it is widely accepted amongst historians that the Argyle inaugurated the London-Dublin route, the details around the event are somewhat disputed. A number of accounts claim that the steamer departed from London and made the journey to Dublin in 1816. However this somewhat contradicts another more detailed account of the passage. This version of events is cited by maritime historian Nick Robins in his book, The Ships That Came to the Pool of London - it is reported that the vessel travelled from Dublin to London in 1815 on her delivery voyage from the Clyde to new owners in London and that there were two passengers on board the ship - Isaac Weld, Secretary of the Royal Dublin Society and his wife. It was in London that the Argyle was renamed Thames, and put to work on a route between London and Margate.

Irrespective of the specifics of the first voyage itself, Thames is widely credited with paving the way for the establishment of a regular service between Dublin and London by the Dublin & London Steam Package Company; a route which was worked in its early years by a paddler named the Shannon, as well as the Thames. This route remained in place for 150 years, with only periodical interruptions during the First and Second World Wars. The Thames was wrecked off the Isles of Scilly in 1841 and sixty men were drowned.

In A Topographical and Historical Guide to the Isle of Wight, written in 1833, William Donnan is listed as Captain of SS Thames. The presentation salver awarded to him in by the Dublin & London Steam Package Company indicates the high regard in which he was held within the organisation.

The second part of this lot is a painting of the SS Thames at sea, signed and dated W. Dunnage, 1831. Little is known about this artist, aside from his limited oeuvre of British nautical paintings. The uniqueness of the name Dunnage and the coincidental link of its meaning (dunnage was commonly known as baggage being brought onto a ship) with the theme in which the artist painted implies that there is a possibility that this artist worked under the guise of a pseudonym.

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1. Estimates and Reserves

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