From around 1880, for almost a hundred years, shipowners commissioned a wealth of paintings that depicted their magnificent liners as well as the routes they travelled, their exotic destinations, and life onboard. These paintings, rich in imagination and atmosphere, appeared on postcards and posters of the day and were used to advertise the companies and their ships; and so was born a whole genre that produced tens of thousands of paintings which formed a wonderful record of the great era of the passenger liner.
In 1900, there were over thirty shipping companies operating passenger liners across the North Atlantic. Other oceans were similarly served. But now, with just a few exceptions, the companies and their liners have disappeared along with the art they once inspired. Little remains to recall this aspect of our maritime past except the postcards; and they tell an evocative story of the vanished world of elegant ships and leisurely travel, of social and political times much changed by the history of the past century.
Here, brought vividly to life in more than 500 colourful postcards, are the ships on which so many of our predecessors sailed—as emigrants, soldiers, administrators, or simply as tourists—in days long past. These cards, which are now highly collectable, show how steamships developed over the years, but they are also a fine tribute to the artists who painted them. This volume also includes a glossary of some 170 illustrators, which forms an important reference section, and advice on collecting.
Christopher Deakes worked for many years as a shipping agent in the Far East and different parts of Africa. He carried out research for this book with the help of many different organisations, including embassies, museums and libraries, auction houses, art galleries and dealers, universities and shipping lines, both in the UK and abroad, and his remarkable collection of postcards forms the core of this work.
"This magnificent volume..., a visual delight, is highly recommended." —Marine News
"It’s a terrific book, packed with information and full of highly arresting imagery." —The Telegraph
"A magnificent volume... I can thoroughly recommend it." —Picture Postcard Monthly
"Attractively illustrated . . . well researched and well written . . . an important contribution to work on marine artists." —Journal for Maritime Research
"An evocative story of the vanished world of elegant ships and leisurely travel . . . sumptuous." —Western Morning News
"This is really a fabulous book." —Sea Lines magazine
"A wonderful book." —Ships Monthly