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A page from James Maw’s manuscript guide to shipbuilding in the late 18th century. It sold at Charles Miller for £3600.

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Essentially compiled in the 1780s by James Maw, but containing a few later additions, it was among paintings, ship models, marine and other scientific instruments offered by London specialist auction house Charles Miller (24% buyer’s premium).

In period vellum and written in a large, legible hand, it ran to over 100 leaves, illustrated with numerous diagrams, focused on items such as measuring boards or planks, masts, windlasses, cleats, bitts and cheeks, etc.

With a stained full-page illustration of the ship on the cover, but defective and clumsily repaired, a ‘Programme of Entertainment in aid of Seamen’s Charities at Liverpool and New York’ held in the third class dining saloon of RMS Lusitania on the evening of Thursday, May 6, 1915, was bid to £750.

At two o’clock on the following afternoon, and 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank with the loss of almost 1200 lives.

This relic was picked up by John Schofield Hulme, a Queenstown trawlerman who, having received the liner’s distress call, is said to have been the first to arrive on the scene.

The sale took place on November 5.