Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1940. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Quarto size, 120 pp., with publisher's box. Near fine / very good +. Item #13091013
As the author wrote in his preface in May of 1940, from his home in Marblehead, Massachusetts, "White sails no longer dot the horizon on all our coasts where only twenty-five years ago they formed an almost never-ending procession. Commercial sailing vessels of all descriptions have practically disappeared from all the oceans."
This volume is his attempt to capture these quickly-disappearing ships in all their majestic beauty, from an author who devoted his lifetime to marine architecture, designing yachts and fishing schooners. The author, Bowdoin Bradlee Crowninshield (1867-1948) was a descendent of a line of successful ship captains and owners; during the War of 1812, the privateer 'America' was a Crowninshield ship, as was 'Cleopatra's Barge', first of American yachts.
Known as "B.B.", after graduating from Harvard in 1890 he served with a respected yacht designer in Boston, eventually striking out on his own to "become one of America's most respected yacht designers during a period which is now regarded as the golden age of American wooden yacht design." (N.B., above info from introduction to book and Wiki.) In this book, Mr. Crowninshield focused on fore-and-after ships, giving some of their history and describing many ships in some detail; profusely illustrated with diagrams and black and white photographs of both ships and ship captains.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in cream buckram reminiscent of sailcloth, red cloth label inset on the front cover with gilt lettering, same on the spine, top edge stained red, fore- and bottom edges uncut, plain endpapers, publisher's device on title page; quarto size (approximately 11.5" tall), pagination: (i)-xviii, sectional title page (xix), blank (xx), 1-100, followed by 64 plates many with more than one photograph. Original opaque acetate dust jacket, original box covered in red paper with a front pastedown of a black and white photograph with two sailing ships, white lettering.
___CONDITION: Volume is almost fine; the binding bright and free of soiling, the corners straight and unrubbed, solid hinges, the text block strong and square, the interior pages clean and bright, entirely free of of prior owner markings; a bit of red at the tail of the spine, the spine label with some darkened residue from the label's adhesive, and some toning to the endpapers, else fine. The acetate dust jacket very good plus with no tears, there is some light soiling and creases particularly at the bottom few inches. The original box is fair, it has been heavily reinforced with tape by a prior owner, it is torn at several seams and the top of the box is missing the left-hand strip.
___POSTAGE: Please note that due to the profusion of plates the book is extremely heavy and therefore additional postage will apply, please inquire for details.
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