Small Yachts. Their Design and Construction Exemplified by the Ruling Types of Modern Practice - C. P. Kunhardt 1885 - Sampson Low, London - First Edition A magnificent example of this large (38 x 29 cm) and important folio by the pioneering yacht designer, artist, draftsman, journalist and writer Charles P. Kunhardt, finely illustrated with 63 plates (three of which are folding), numerous full page drawings, sketches, schematics, as well as vignettes throughout the text.

Due to the fragile nature of the paper used, this work is rarely encountered in original publisher’s binding and with the interior in such piping clean condition.
  Charles Philip Kunhardt (1850-89), born on Staten Island, New York, one of a family long associated with shipping, he attended the U.S. Naval Academy (1866-70), served as a commissioned officer for three years (1870-3), during which time he was already becoming involved with Naval architecture and the design of yachts, writing under the nom-de-plume of ‘Big Topmast’. After leaving the navy he was employed in the drafting room of Cramp Shipyard in Philadelphia, whilst continuing his writing. Controversial, combative, and always pushing the boundaries of yacht design, Kunhardt abandoned shipbuilding for full-time writing, and was associated with The Nautical Gazette of New York, and The Aquatic Monthly, later becoming the yachting editor for the influential Forest & Stream. (1878-83). Kunhardt was also an adventurer and entrepreneur, and after leaving Forest & Stream he headed off to Nicaragua to mine for gold, returning only two months later after this scheme ‘capsized’, re-joiing the magazine, but leaving for another speculative foray to Leadville, Colorado, and then on to Santa Fe, New mexico, all ventures failing, in 1884 he began work on his magnum opus ‘Small Yachts’. He is thought to have been lost at sea in 1889.

Reference: Toy,
Adventures Afloat 4763 (later edition).

Folio (38 x 29 cm) pp. [4] v [1] [1
Index of Plates] 4-369 [1] [Plates IV-LXIII] [2]. Publisher’s brown cloth lettered in gilt to spine, front board lettered in gilt and black, with vignette of sailing ketch in black, patterned endpapers.

Provenance: From the library of nautical historian and eye surgeon Dr. Michael Gilkes with his illustrated bookplate.

Michael Gilkes FRCS, FRCOphth., FRGS (1923-2014). - During a long and rich life, this passion for adventure would see Michael crewing on an America’s Cup Race, living and working for a time researching glaucoma in both Jerusalem and the Gambia, building his own thirty-foot yacht in his back garden and sailing her around Britain and over to Europe, and traveling extensively, particularly in South America. On his retirement from his career as an ophthalmic surgeon, he made a number of voyages back to Antarctica – the region which fascinated and drew him the most.’

Obituary from the
British Medical Journal - ‘Dr. Michael Gilkes FRCS, FRCO, FRGS, (1923-2014) started his professional medical career as the Leith Harbour whaling station Medical Officer. As a newly qualified doctor, Michael Gilkes travelling from Leith, Scotland, aboard Saluta to become Medical Officer at Leith whaling station from 1946 to 1948. Whilst there he lived in the whaling station Manager’s Villa. His time at South Georgia coincided with the visit of explorer Niall Rankin. The two men got on well and Michael was invited along on several expeditionary trips around the island. This is something he mentions in one of several articles about his experiences and opinions on South Georgia for the Polar Publishing website. After South Georgia he went aboard the whaling factory ship Southern Harvester to act as ship's surgeon.

On returning to the UK, he was house surgeon at the Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital, after which he trained as an eye surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. He later took a position as a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at the Sussex Eye Hospital where he worked for thirty years. His work also took him to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan as a visiting consultant and examiner.

Throughout his life he retained an interest in South Georgia and the Antarctic and he accumulated a huge library on the region. He was a founder Friend of SPRI, a founding member of the James Caird Society, and was a member of the South Georgia Association. His wide ranging other interests included model engineering and competitive sailing. After a 40 year gap Michael returned to South Georgia aboard a cruise ship. A trip he repeated several times afterwards.’
  Condition: Near fine, faint wear to spine ends, single closed tears to edge of three pages and two plates, not affecting text or illustration.   Ref: 108203   Price: HK$ 18,000