Sailor's camphor wood sea chest, before 1888


before 1888
overall: 14-3/4 x 39-1/2 x 15-1/2 in.

Chest; Sailor's camphor wood sea chest, before 1888; from the collection of Captain Richard C. Mears; solid camphor wood chest, constructed using a dovetail joint technique, with block feet and a key hole at the front for locking; the interior is large and open, with a small interior till (storage box), where carving of a sea turtle was found (2005.34.142); pasted to the back wall of the chest is a typed piece of paper; printed on paper "THIS CAMPHOR WOOD CHEST./ was the property of Hohn, Wassman, a Russian sailor shipped on the B?/ St Mary at Bordeaux Octr 1888. and desirted the night of Nov 11?/ when on watch in verdon roads, he was called by Rudol[?] Peterson/ 2.A.M. at 5.A.M. the Mate went on deck found we had no wach and no/ one awake on board of the ship, he called all hands to no why it/ was that we had no wach when he found he was [?] man short. a ma-/ ster of names it was found that Honh wassan the Russian was missen/ his things we all gon. he com to my cabin and reported to me that/ a man with all of his effects was gon, we then had to look for the way he had gon when we missed the Deck tub which was half of a/ water cask, so we concluded that he must have got the tub over the/ side and gon off in that. the tide was strong ebb so that he cold/ not fetch the shore from either side and it runs about 6,7,K pr/ hour so that if his tub did no upset he must have gon to sea, at/ daylight in looking around we found this chest made fast along/ side and concluded that he cold not take it in the tub with him/ so that he had to leave it and a desirter forfits all his effe-/ cts so this chest becomes my property and I give it to My Daught-/ er Nellie. G. Mears, as a Memento of one of the Many curious inci-/dents of my long sea life. at Sea [?] Lat 21-20. N, Long 49,40/ W. 14th [? crossed out with December written below] 1888/ Master Bk St Mary, of N.Y."; signature of R.C. Mears below this text; two stickers on back of chest (one yellow, one green); printed on green sticker "North America/ Van Lines Inc/ Contract No", and "J-125 on the side; printed on yellow sticker "LOT NO./ 57119/169".


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