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A5215 Set of decanters, including stand and decanters (3), silver / glass, maker unknown, place of production unknown, date unknown, from the captain's table of the sailing ship 'Cimba', used by Captain James William Holmes, 1895-1906. Click to enlarge.

Decanter set used onboard the ship 'Cimba'

    This decanter set belonged to Captain James William Holmes (1855-1932), a British Master of clipper ships in the 1890s and early 1900s. His most notable command was of the wool clipper 'Cimba' from 1895 to 1906 on which he acquired a reputation for fast voyages due to his knowledge of the weather and pioneering use of perforated sails.

    Captain Holmes' fastest voyage was from Sydney to London in 1889 which took 75 days. He wrote that the 'Cimba' was "heavy aloft and narrow, but she was …

    Summary

    Object No.

    A5215

    Object Statement

    Set of decanters, including stand and decanters (3), silver / glass, maker unknown, place of production unknown, date unknown, from the captain's table of the sailing ship 'Cimba', used by Captain James William Holmes, 1895-1906

    Physical Description

    Set of 3 cut glass decanters on a plated stand from the captain's table of the sailing ship 'Cimba', c. 1890, stand with central handle, all over height 16", engraved "C", 2 bottles in perfect condition, third bottle cracked at neck, base of stopper missing.

    Dimensions

    Height

    408 mm

    History

    Notes

    Captain James William Holmes' sailing career spanned more than 50 years. Born in England in 1855 at Deal, Kent, to a seafaring family, Holmes went to sea in 1869 at the age of 14 and eventually became a well-known master of sailing ships trading between Britain and Australia in the 1890s and early 1900s. He made his first voyage to Sydney as an able seaman in 1874 on the 'Kosciusko'. Having progressed on various ships to First Mate he applied at Trinity House in 1887 to become a pilot, but the number of pilots had recently been restricted so he decided to settle in Sydney. He lived here for five years, working for the Australasian Steam Navigation Company on voyages in the Pacific, before returning to the UK.

    Holmes got his first command in 1890 on the barque 'Leucadia' owned by Alexander Nicol and Company of Aberdeen, Scotland. In 1895 he was given command of the wool clipper 'Cimba' which he captained until the ship was sold in 1906. His next commands were the 'Inverurie' and 'Invergarry' until 1914. On a voyage carrying coal from Newcastle to San Francisco he learnt from an American tanker that war with Germany had been declared and after an adventurous voyage escaping German submarines he eventually made his way back to the English port of Grimsby. Holmes hoped in vain for employment by the Admiralty during the war and made his last voyage in 1920-21 on the schooner 'Gardner Williams' between Buenos Aires, Cape Town and Mauritius. He died in England in 1932 at his Shooter's Hill home, Greenwich.

    Source

    Credit Line

    Gift of Minnie Nora Coughlan, 1963

    Acquisition Date

    25 March 1963

    Cite this Object

    Harvard

    Decanter set used onboard the ship 'Cimba' 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 October 2021, <https://ma.as/182735>

    Wikipedia

    {{cite web |url=https://ma.as/182735 |title=Decanter set used onboard the ship 'Cimba' |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}