Red Star Line and Other Ocean Liner Books

{last updated July 2, 2014}


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Offered here is the first and only
edition of "The Red Star Line and
International Mercantile Marine Company" by
Vernon E. W. Finch, (1916-2003), once the Bell Boy 
in the flagship "Belgenland". Publ'd by De 
Branding, Antwerp. 1988. 4 to., 151 pp. The 
Red Star Line was founded in 1872 
and liquidated in 1935. All of the
Red Star ships sailed under the Belgian flag,
although the Company was financed by Americans.
This is a comprehensive history of the company,
including many b/w photographs. The 2-page
colour spread shows some of the company's
major ships, the foremost of which was the
"S.S. Belgenland", the original design of 
which is pictured below. The other picture
below shows the S.S. Finland in the Gaillard
Cut of the Panama Canal on Dec. 5th, 1923.
Blue cloth with Red lettering. Very slight
edgewear; o/w Near Fine in lightly rubbed VG+ d.j.
This copy SIGNED on the title page by the author.
Also available unsigned.............. $26.50 


2. Offered here is a very special Red Star Line item. 1873-1923: To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Red Star Line and the entering into its service of the new steamer Belgenland. Self-published. Printed in Antwerp by J.E. Buschmann. 8 vo., not paginated. 30 pp. of text plus titling, limitation pages and 4 full-page illustrations. A photo of the company's offices in Antwerp in 1879, and another of "Quai du Rhin", Antwerp, where the company's liners are berthed (1923). The other two illus. are reproductions of paintings of the original Belgenland and the Belgenland II. 2nd page from the back states "Fifteen copies of the present Historical Summary have been especially printed on Japanese paper from the Imperial Tokyo Manufactures; they have been numbered by hand, and bear the Printer's initials. The type composing the text is of the Ancient Gothic kind and styled in Christophorus Plantinus' (1589) Index Characterum as "Flemish Canon". The last page is initialed in pencil by J.E. Buschmann and bears number "6 pc", (the 6th presentation copy). The decorated vellum covers are lightly foxed and the front outer hinge has abt. a half-inch split at the bottom; o/w a VG+ copy in a VG+ heavy paper dustjacket with beautiful marbling. Good+ heavy card slipcase with moderate edgewear and a couple of short splits. The complimentary laid-on label was never filled in. A wonderfully unique item. $475.00


The Great Liners (3) 3. The Great Liners by Melvin Maddocks. A Time-Life Book, Alexandria, Virginia. 4th printing revised, 1984. Tall 4 to., 176 pp. The usual well-researched and well- illustrated effort from Time-Life. A very readable history of these great ships that plied the North Atlantic, shuttling millions of passengers back and forth from Europe to America, most in the utmost of luxury. Includes a large colour fold-out section on the "Normandie" and a series of 9 beautiful full-page reproductions of liner posters. Blue padded cloth with a laid-on picture of the "Queen Mary" on the front panel. Map endpapers. Slight edgewear and rubbing; o/w VG+. $16.50 4. Anatomy of the Titanic by Tom McCluskie. Prospero Books, Tor. 1998 or 1999 reprint of the PRC First Edition, Lon. 1998. Tall 4 to., 160 pp. A comprehensive tour of the doomed ship-- page-by-page progression through the vessel. A full-colour section displays original plans and drawings of the interior of the ship, and there are nearly 250 photographs. The fabulous interior design and furnishings are shown here in their full magnificence. Glossy pictorial boards. Minor edgewear and rubbing; o/w VG+ in VG+ matching pictorial d.j. $16.50 5. Collision Course: the collision at sea of the S.S. Andrea Doria and the M.S. Stockholm by Alvin Moscow. Grosset & Dunlap, N.Y. 1981 printing. 8 vo., 345 pp. plus 32 pp. of photos, drawings and diagrams. The complete story of the improbable collision of two enormous ships that resulted in the sinking of the Italian liner, S.S. Andrea Doria. New material has been added to this printing regarding attempts to retrieve money and treasures believed to be on board. Red cloth. Photo e.p.'s. Minor edgewear; prev. owner's blind stamp on half-title; o/w VG+ in VG pictorial d.j. $14.50 6. Golden Age of Ocean Liners by Lee Server. Todtri Productions, N.Y. (1996) 1st Ed. Tall 4 to., 80 pp. Here is an inspired representation of the awe-inspiring beauty of the great luxury liners that plowed the seas before the Second World War. 97 vivid illustrations from photos, ads and posters capture the glamour of this extraordinary era. Glossy pictorial boards. Slight edgewear; minor ding to top of spine; o/w a VG+ copy in a VG+ matching d.j. $18.50 Golden Age of Ocean Liners (6) 7. Lusitania: Saga and Myth by David Ramsay. W.W. Norton and Co., N.Y. 1st U.S. Edition. 2002. 8 vo., 308 pp. plus 8 pp. of b/w photos. State-of- the-art when she went into service and the first express liner to be equipped with steam turbines, the Lusitania outclassed all her rivals. Based on detailed research, this book almost certainly contains the most objective account of the history of the liner and the circumstances surrounding her sinking by a German U-Boat in May, 1915. Full- page map. Black cloth. Minor edgewear; minor stain on f.e.p.'s; minor soiling of foredges; o/w a VG or better copy in VG pictorial d.j. $17.50 8. Ocean Ships: New Edition, Fully Revised, by David Hornsby. Ian Allan, London. 1998. 8 vo., 224 pp. An updated record of the fast-changing shipping scene. Part I deals with Passenger Liners and Cruise Ships; Part II gives the details on Cargo Vessels and Tankers. Dozens of b/w photos. Glossy pictorial boards. Minor chipping and rubbing; prev. owner's blind stamp on f.e.p.; o/w a VG+ copy. $17.50 9. Ocean Liners of the 20th Century by Gordon Newell. Bonanza Books, N.Y. (1973) Later printing. 4 to., 192 pp. With his vast collection of photographs and memorabilia, the author makes these old mammoths of the sea become living personalities. They're all here in the greatest armada of superliners ever assembled. Blue paper-on- boards with Red cloth spine. Minor wear and some fading to edges; large gift inscription on front attached endpaper; o/w VG in VG pictorial d.j. $12.50 10. Pacific Coastal Liners by Gordon Newell & Joe Williamson. Bonanza Books, N.Y. (1959). 1st Bonanza reprint of the Superior Publishing Co. original. 4 to., 192 pp. Read about the exploits of the ships of Pacific Coast Steam, Admiral Lines, Alaska Steam, Canadian Pacific, the Gold Rush ships and others. Dozens of historic photos. White cloth. Minor edgewear; abt. 1-1/2" stain on spine where piece of d.j. is missing; slight smokey odor; o/w VG in Good Only d.j. with chipping and light soiling and piece missing from spine. $16.50 11. Pacific Empresses: an Illustrated History of Canadian Pacific Railway's Empress Liners on the Pacific Ocean by Robert D. Turner. Sono Nis Press, Victoria, B.C. 1st Edition. 1981. Tall 4 to., 290 pp. The CP Empresses were the finest, fastest liners on the Pacific Ocean. Here is the complete dramatic story of their trans-Pacific service, from record- breaking runs and million-dollar silk cargoes to typhoons and war service. The book contains more than 400 illus., photos, maps, timetables and scale drawings, togetheer with detailed text, fleet lists, bibliography and index. Blue cloth. Map e.p.'s. Minor edgewear; minor darkening of topedges; slight smokey odour; o/w a VG copy in a Fair pictorial d.j. with some small pieces missing. $40.00 12. Polar the Titanic Bear: a True Story by Daisy Corning Stone Spedden. A Madison Press Book produced for Little, Brown and Co., Lon., Bos., Tor. (1994) 1st printing. Sq. 4 to., 64 pp. An engaging story written by Daisy Spedden for her son, Douglas, after the family survived the sinking of the Titanic. Told through the eyes of a Steiff bear named Polar who was also rescued. Beautifully illustrated in colour by Laurie McGaw and supplemented with numerous sepia photos from the family's collection. Blue cloth. Minor edgewear; o/w VG+ in VG+ pictorial d.j. with minor chipping and rubbing. $22.50 13. Record Breakers of the North Atlantic: Blue Riband Liners 1838-1952 by Arnold Kludas. Brassey's Inc., Washington, D.C. 1st U.S. softcover edition (2000). Oblong 4 to., 159 pp. This book represents the history of the (unofficial) contest between international passenger liner companies for the fastest crossing of the North Atlantic. The author has "set the record straight" as to which ship actually held the honour at any given time. Previously, there had been no distinction between westbound and eastbound voyages for instance. Includes many photos as well as 35 drawings of all the Blue Riband ships. Stiff pictorial card wraps. Near Fine copy. $18.50 14. Romance of a Modern Liner by Captain E.G. Diggle, Commander of R.M.S. Aquitania. Patrick Stephens Ltd., Lon. 1989. Reprint of the original 1930 sampson Low, Marston edition. Sm. 8 vo., 242 pp. plus 64 pp. of b/w photos. A stirring portrait of a great liner. The book was originally published to show something of the many stages and processes through which a great ocean- going liner had to pass, from the time of laying the keel up to the zenith of its career as a passenger carriet. Blue paper-on- boards with Blue cloth spine. Slight edgewear; slight yellowing of margins of photo pages; slight smokey odor; o/w VG+ in a VG pictorial d.j. with minor chipping, rubbing. $25.00 15. Star Princess Inauguration, 1989. The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, Lon. (1989) 1st Ed. Almost sq. 4 to., 104 pp. The "Star Princess", 63,500 tons and with 1470 berths joins the prestigious line-up of P & O cruise ships. A beautifully-illustrated and informative book including construction, interior design, menus and destination itineraries. Grey cloth. Slight edgewear; o/w Near Fine in a VG+ pictorial d.j. with minor chipping and one short taped tear. $18.50 16. Shipwreck: the Strange Fate of the Morro Castle by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts. Stein and Day, N.Y. 1972. First Edition. 8 vo., 287 pp. Here is a spellbinding account of the last voyage of the luxury cruise liner "Morro Castle" which caught fire a few hours out of New York harbour on a return voyage from Havana in Sept., 1934. 134 people died. The authors provide proof that the disaster was no accident, but a deliberate act of a ship's officer, George White Rogers, who may have also killed the Captain. Numerous photos, a map frontis and cross- section views on the e.p.'s. Gold paper-on-boards with a Red cloth spine. Minor edgewear; o/w VG+ in a G+ d.j. with some rubbing and light soiling. $16.50 17. The Liners by Terry Coleman. A History of the North Atlantic Crossing. Allen Lane, London. 1st Edition. 1976. Sm. 4 to., 232 pp. Includes a whole chapter on the "Titanic". An interesting and well-illustrated account of the various trans-Atlantic companies and their sumpious liners. Conspicuously absent is any mention of the Red Star Line and its ships (1872-1935) except for stating that it was one of the lines bought by J.P. Morgan in 1902 and formed part of his "International Mercantile Marine Company". Blue cloth. Minor edgewear and rubbing; prev. owner's address sticker on f.e.p.; o/w a VG+ copy without d.j. $20.00 18. Unsinkable: the Full Story of RMS Titanic by Daniel Allen Butler. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA. (1998) 2nd printing. 8 vo., 292 pp. plus 8 pp. of b/w photos and map endpapers. A fresh look at an incredible story, starting with the building of the Titanic and continuing on to the interment of her dead in Nova Scotia and to the discovery of the wreck in 1985 and subsequent attempt in 1996 to raise part of her hull. Grey paper-on-boards with Red cloth spine. Minor edgewear; o/w VG+ in a VG+ pictorial d.j. with minor chipping and rubbing. $15.50 19. Bridge to the Cape, The: the Steamship "Dunottar Castle". George Philip & Son, London. 8 vo., 48 pp. 1891. Not stated as such, but presumedly a very limited edition. The 19 illustrations of various sizes are all hand-applied to the page. They show the ship and various interior views as well as the Captain (Webster) and the owner of the Castle Line, Sir Donald Currie. The pages themselves are of various sizes as well, with untrimmed foredges. No author is given for the text which gives a detailed description of the ship at the beginning of its maiden mails and passenger voyage in 1891 from Dartmouth to Cape Town; as well as the shipping line itself. The RMS Dunottar Castle was built at Govan Shipyards in 1889 by the Fairfield Ship Building & Engineering Co. for the Castle Line, passing to the Union Castle Line in 1900. This steam ship became famous in the 1890s for reducing the voyage time from Southampton, England, to Cape Town, South Africa, from about 40 days to 17 days and 20 hours. (In November 1899, the Dunottar Castle was requisitioned as a troop ship during the Second Boer War. She carried General Redvers Buller and 1,500 troops to Cape Town for Boer War duties and on the following voyage carried Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener.) Handbound in Black leather (although I don't see a binder's signature) with gilt lettering and decoration. Exquisite marbled endpapers. Moderate wear to spine and corners; prev. owner's name on free, blank f.e.p.; 4 pages with minor stains; o/w a VG or better copy of this scarce item. (Note of two curiosities: after the frontispiece illus. of the ship, on what would be the title page, there is no title, just the publishing information at the bottom and the printer information on the reverse; secondly, there follows a page with the title "List of Illustrations", but with no list. The title of the book is actually at the top of the first page of text.) $475.00 [998] The World Is Round: Seventh Annual Round the World Cruise. Canadian Pacific. 1929. 8 vo., 103 pp. The complete itinerary for a 137 day round-the-world cruise on the "Empress of Australia", the dream ship of cruises. Leaving New York, December 2, 1929 and returning to New York via panama canal, April 17, 1930. Includes many photo graphs of the interior of the ship plus ports of destination, as well as a 4-page fold-out picture of the Empress of Australia, with world map, route and itinerary on the reverse. Black paper-on-boards with Red cloth spine and paste-on colour photo. A little edgewear; one corner bumped; o/w VG. SOLD [999] Storied Coasts of the Mediterranean: Seventh Season, Two Mediterranean Cruises. Canadian Pacific. 1930. 8 vo., 117 pp. Complete itineraries for the "Empress of Scotland" and the "Empress of France", leaving New York a week apart in Feb. 1930 and returning 73 days later. "First Class Only-- No Other Class Carried." Many b/w photos of the decks and in teriors of the cruise ships and also the ports of call. Two 4-page fold-outs, one for each ship, picturing the ship on one side and route map and itinerary on the reverse. Orange paper-on-boards with Green cloth spine and paste-on colour photo of the Egyptian pyramids. Slight soiling to covers; all corners bumped; G+. $33.50

A Selection of Cruise Ads from "Punch"

20. "Orient Line Cruises", Norway Northern Capitals. Steamers "Oronsay" and "Otranto". In Punch Summer Number magazine, the May 13, 1929 issue. 8-1/2 x 11". VG+. $7.00 21. "Cheerio! Jolly old Birds". No cruise line designation, but it looks like a wonderful cruise holiday ad to me! From the Punch Summer Number magazine, the May 23, 1927 issue. VG+. $6.50 22. "Orient Line to Australia", via Gibralatar, South of France, Italy, Egypt and Ceylon. In the Jan. 18, 1928 issue of Punch magazine. One ragged page edge; one corner turned; still a VG copy. $7.00 23. "Orient Line Cruises": Mediterranean and Atlantic Islands, April-June; and Norway and Northern Capitals, June and August, on board the "Otranto" and "Orford". In the March 14, 1928 issue of Punch magazine. VG+. SOLD 24. "Royal Mail Line Cruises": Mediterranean, Norway, Round Ireland & Scotland. From the Punch Summer Number, May 21, 1928 issue. Bits missing along one edge; one corner turned; o/w VG. $5.50 25. "Royal Mail Atlantis Cruises": Norway, Baltic Ports, Northern Capitals, Iceland, Spitzbergen, Leningrad, Etc. From the Punch magazine, April 22, 1931 issue. Inside front cover. Small chip from one edge; two corners turned; o/w VG. $6.00 26. "1931 P & O Cruises" to the Crimea, Athens, Constantinople, Venice, the Mediterranean and to the Fjords and Islands of the Northern Seas. Ad shows the "Viceroy of India" P & O Cruiser. From Punch Magazine, January 14, 1931 issue. Inside front cover. One edge a little ragged; two corners slightly turned; o/w a VG copy. $6.50 27. "P & O Christmas and New Year Cruises" by "Viceroy of India". Advertises two cruises to Madeira, the Canary Isles, Morocco, etc. and a 29-day cruise to N. Africa, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Rhodes, Malta, etc. From Punch Magazine, October 31, 1934 issue. Inside front cover. One edge a little ragged; one short margin tear; o/w VG. $6.00

------- MORE COMING SOON --------

End of Red Star Line


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