1883. An interesting hand painted and roneoed ship's musical program. Produced for an Australian ship voyage 29th November 1883 with the proceeds of the performance "devoted to the relief of the suffering of a destitute and invalided steerage passenger".
The evenings proceedings are roneographed inside the fold. It lists 15 performances, including arrangements for violin and piano; a "letter song: Rip Van Winkle"; other songs, a recitation; "Italian boat song"; and a vocal duet. The performers include Mr. & Mrs. Rignold and Signor Steffani. Mr. & Mrs. G. Rignold are recorded as having traveled from Adelaide to Sydney on 29th January 1883 on the ship "Birksgate" and in October 1886, they traveled on the ship "Hanroto" from Hobart to Melbourne with Mr. & Mrs. Lohr, all of them described as "Theatrical". Signor Steffani is listed in the Sand's Sydney Directory for 1883 at 129 Phillips St., and in 1895 as a "teacher of singing" at 56 Elizabeth St. (ancestry dot com). In fact, the performances, by "professionals" were most likely money making efforts for the performers, who traveled repeatedly between various ports in Australia. One wonders if the money collected actually went to relieve the suffering of "a destitute and invalided steerage passenger", unless that is Mr. Rignold or Mr. Steffani.
The R. M. S. John Elder made voyages between London and Australia [see article in the Sydney Morning Herald referring to arrival from London on 15 July 1885, just 6 months after this voyage on the NLA website.] It seems possible that this voyage was only in Australian waters, as the Rignold's were already in Australia in January 1883.
The cover of the program is hand painted, with a background design of gingko leaves, daffodils and a dragon fly with a tropical island view superimposed. On blue coated paper, folded, with the number 1 penciled at lower left of the front. In some spots, the text of the reproduction is faded, and it has been re-written by hand in purple ink. Short closed tear bottom edge. Folded, folio 8 3/4 x 13 1/2". The paper is speckled with white dots, akin to some unusual sort of bleaching, perhaps related to the paper making process, as it skirts the cover illustration.
An unusual survival. Very good overall. Item #20855