HMS Bounty share certificate an historical auction attraction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 5th March, 2019

A certificate for 10,000 $1 shares in the replica of HMS Bounty’s visit to Australia’s 1988 Bicentenary is one of the more intriguing items at E.J. Ainger’s forthcoming auction from 9.30am Tuesday March 5 at 433 Bridge Road, Richmond.

Dated April 16, 1986, the certificate (number 14) was issued to Rowbar Pty Ltd and refers to the bicentenary of the colonisation of New South Wales in 1788 during the reign of King George III.

Tragically the HMS Bounty replica, made for the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty starring the late Marlon Brando, was sunk on October 30, 2012 in Hurricane Sandy ravaged waters off the North Carolina coast of the United States.

During the storm, one of the Bounty’s generators failed, water flooded everywhere and the 55-metre tall ship lost power and propulsion.

The 16-man crew abandoned ship into lifeboats, but in so doing, captain Robin Walbridge and crewman Claudene Christian lost their lives.

The survivors were later picked up by Coast Guard helicopters.

Although tragic, it is an intersting irony that the crewman who lost his life bore the same surname as that of the leader of the mutiny on the original HMS Bounty, master's mate Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, in 1789. 

When the disaffected crew mutinied, they consigned Captain William Bligh (and those of his crew who supported him) to a lifeboat. Bligh then completed the superhuman task of successfully navigating the small boat 3500 nautical miles to the safety of Dutch-held Java.

The mutineers variously settled in Tahiti or on Pitcairn Island and, after returning to England in 1790, some years later Bligh became Governor of New South Wales. 

Another interesting auction item is the tall ex-Windsor Hotel reception guest filing cabinet used in the early days of the hotel.

A landmark of high Victorian architecture and completed and opened in 1884, it was initially known as  The Grand” before in 1920 being renamed the Windsor Hotel after the British Royal Family following a major refurbishment.

Over the years, many famous national and international guests have stayed at the hotel, dubbed the Duchess of Spring Street, and played a significant role in Australian history as the place where in 1898 the Constitution of Australia was drafted prior to the 1901 Federation.

The hotel is currently undergoing major renovations.

Other auction items include a late Victorian yellow upholstered armchair, and antique French oak single door cabinet on a stand and a French Louis XVI style writing desk.

There also is a French kingwood fall front secretaire upright chest and an impressive tall nickel and glass five panelled upright two-door display cabinet.

A French provincial oak triple weight grandfather clock and brass French timepiece with figures are other attractions, along with an Italian floral and gilt decorated twin handled urn vase.

Two coloured bird engravings, an Egyptian papyrus and an ornate French oak cushon wall mirror also should attract plenty of attention. 

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