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Sketches from Voyage of Whaling Schooner Penelope, 18 Apr 1900 - 7 Sep 1902
1900. Approximately 7.5" x 9.75". Illustrations range in size from 4.5" to 6.5" high and 6" to 7.5" wide. Un-paginated. One page of text describing the history of the Penelope and the names of the crew members that sailed on this voyage followed by an illustrated title page plus 50 additional full-page watercolors made during the voyage which began in San Francisco. Each illustration is dated and captioned. The 51 paintings are bright and vivid with some minor marginal smudges. The self-made book is holding together nicely although three empty pinholes along the spine suggest that at one time it was additionally bound with a string. The cloth cover is soiled and damp-stained. The hinges are cracked and the rear fixed endpaper is partially missing. This is a superb whaling journal illustrated with exceptionally well done watercolor paintings by the ship's boatsteerer (harpooner), John Bertonccini. Although the text entries are short and concise, each of the illustrations is truly worth a thousand words. Illustrations include harpooning whales, towing whales, hoisting blubber, harpooning walrus, poisoning polar bear, and more. Bertonccini was known by his peers as "Johnny the Painter" for his work in creating theatrical scenery for the plays performed by whalemen while they wintered over in the Arctic at Herschel Island. Although in this journal Bertonccini signs his last name with only one 'c', library and museum references consistently use two. Some of his works are in the collections of the Kendall Whaling Museum (now, I believe, merged with the New Bedford Whaling Museum), the Peabody Essex Museum, and the J. Porter Shaw Library. This is a very impressive and beautifully depicted rare record of whaling life at the turn of the last century. . Soft Cover. Very Good. Illus. by Bertonccini, John Julius. 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall.
      [Bookseller: Read'Em Again Books]
Last Found On: 2013-01-08           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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