A whaling journal kept by a sailor on New Bedford ship the Geo. Howland during the mid 1800s headlined a sale at PBA Galleries on January 29 with a final bid of $30,000.
The book is titled "A Journal of Ship Geo. Howland of New Bedford, A.C. Cushman. 1842, 43, 44" and displays elaborately painted watercolours in addition to regular entries.
It represents a fascinating account of life aboard a whaler during the 19th century.
A typical log reads: "Friday, Oct. 21, 1842 - …Saw many finbacks… Saw a large shoal of Sperm Whales, large, lowered 4 boats could not strike at 8 came on board at 9 lowered again and struck one. Irion broke and lost him, came on board. So ends…"
PBA Galleries explained the appeal of the paintings: "The watercolors are superbly executed, and represent the epitome of American folk art of the 19th century."
Another whaling journal written by Cushman sold for $8,400.
This lot recounts a journey around Cape Horne and the Galapagos Islands from 1846 to 1850 and includes details of the number of whales caught and the volume of oil harvested.
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