The Seamen’s Church has dedicated 177 years and counting to serving mariners through education, ministry and legal advocacy. Acting as the largest mariners’ agency in the North America, Seamen’s Church is leaving their South Street Seaport location for one in Newark, N.J.
On May 25 in New York City, Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers will auction a selection from the institute’s fine collection of acquisitions and gifts, acquired over many years. In total, 143 lots will be offered including paintings, ship models, 18th and 19th century prints, folk art and even an 11-foot inner harbor pilotboat.
Several lots for this auction come from the Joseph Conrad Memorial Library, which opened in 1934 and housed books, photographs, references, and even poetic personal letters of Conrad’s, among other objects of history and treasure. Included will be Conrad’s leather cigarette case (est. value $600 to $800), a framed letter from Christopher Morley of the Saturday Review (est. $600 to $800) and a wooden carved bust of Joseph Conrad in the form of a figurehead that stood in the library (est. $10,000 to $15,000). Another notable lot is a poetic letter written by Conrad to the crew of the Tusitala which was owned by the Farrell family, along with a pencil and crayon drawing of Conrad (est. $2,000 to $3,000).