SS Great Eastern collection

The owner of these items is the great-great-nephew of Captain John Vine Hall, who was the captain on the maiden voyage of the Great Eastern steamship.

It was one of the most iconic of all English ships of that period (the late 1850s), and Isambard Kingdom Brunel's third shipbuilding masterpiece. The ship was aptly christened 'The Leviathan', as it was 692 feet long and weighed more than 19,000 tons – three times more than the biggest ship of the period. It was also the first steam ship to cross the Atlantic.

This collection of items includes a fascinating family archive and the captain’s personal log book, covering his first voyage on the Great Eastern. This is an important historic find, as the official ship's log was never found, so this is the only record left of that journey. In addition, there are several watercolours and three albums. This is a collection of national importance and cumulatively worth somewhere around £40,000.

Did you know? In many ways, the Victorians owe their unique place in history to their imaginative and successful exploitation of three new communication technologies: the steamship, the railway, and the electric telegraph.