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Lot# 20009 - Auction 298-307

  • Lot# : 20009 New South Wales

    1845 (Aug 1-Sept 23-Oct 14): Entire letter from Mangaia, Cook Islands to London, carried by hand and mailed prepaid from Sydney with fine oval "PAID SHIP LETTER / ♚ / DE 18 / 1845 / SYDNEY" datestamp in red and manuscript '3d.' paid. Carried on the Maiden Toulmin Packet Sailing of the "Hooghly" from Sydney (departed Jan 2, 1846) arriving at Penzance on April 25th. Fine strike of framed "PACKET LETTER" in black and poor strike at Plymouth on reverse alongside London cds (April 27) of arrival in red where undercharged '1/-' in manuscript as there are three enclosures. Fine content, a portion of which is transcribed below. Rare.rnProvenance: Collection Brian Peace, Prestige, Melbourne, 27 July 2009, lot 1164.rnNote: The letter was written by George Gill, one of several brothers who were Missionaries in the Pacific Islands. He served in the Cook Islands from 1845-1860 and this was his first outgoing letter which has a full description of landing there and: "Some hundreds of people followed singing and chanting a song of welcome and gladness...some 20 years since, these people would have murdered and eaten the white man, The church at Oneroa has 400 members and about 2'000 in attendance on the Sabbath...We are waiting with almost breathless anxiety for England^s decision upon the Tahitian question, if in favour of the French their conquests will extend and adjacent islands, if otherwise we may live in quietness". On Oct 14: "The vessel has returned from tahiti and in a few hours will sail for Rarotonga when we shall be left alone. We have just heardthat the French Protectorate is settled at Tahiti...".
    Starting bid : 750 CHF
    Hammer price : 6,000 CHF