The HMS Birkenhead was transporting troops to the Eighth Frontier War, when she sank off Danger Point, between Cape Hangklip and Cape Agulhas, on 26 February, 1852. The heroic soldiers stood fast on board, whilst allowing women and children to occupy the lifeboats. So was born the chivalrous nautical tradition of "women and children first" into the lifeboats. Sixty eight men and eight horses reached shore. Nine officers, three hundred and fifty nine soldiers and seventy seven crew perished.
On offer is a double compartment quill case in surprisingly good condition. One compartment is for newly cut writing quills and the other for used quills awaiting re-cutting. Most ironically, the picture on the lid of the quill case depicts a boat approaching a rock!
Also, a sealed bottle of mercury from Dr. Culhane's surgery. The mercury might have been used for treating siphilis, or refilling barometers?
The lot includes an intact wine bottle, broken glass bottles and conglomerate from the wreck salvaged by Dr. Allan Kayle and his team of divers. All of these artefacts are from the salvage auction sale.
Also included: A presentation copy of "Salvage of the Birkenhead" by Allan Kayle and "Drums of the Birkenhead by David Bevan.
- Overall Condition: Very good.