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Liverpool Dock History Up For Auction

MAPS, plans and specifications for Liverpool’s docks, dating from the mid to late 1800s and providing a rich insight into their history and growth, are up for auction on Monday 3 October.

The original, hand-tinted documents, many in very good condition and some on cloth, date from a period when the docks became a gateway for mass emigration. Between 1830 and 1930, nine million people sailed from Liverpool, mostly bound for North America, Australia and New Zealand, to seek a better life in the new world.

The collection which charts the growth of the docks includes: 1844 plans of Birkenhead showing the proposed docks and the sales of land made by the Corporation of Liverpool; 1865 plans showing proposed alterations to the Mersey docks; further plans and sections dated 1872 and; two plans of the east side of Queen’s dock dated 1890.

There is also an extra-ordinary 20ft long, by 19in high, plan of a proposed viaduct, dated 1844, which would have taken bricks from Victoria to the developing Nelson docks. And a specification book, available to those tendering for work, dated 1898.

The collection of eight items is estimated to make between £400 to £600 say 1818 Auctioneers who are selling it on behalf of an anonymous vendor with family links to the area.

David Hunter from the firm, based on the Cumbria, Lancashire border, says it’s been difficult to value because nothing quite like it has come onto the open market before.

He said: “There is a lot of interest in Maritime ephemera and the collection provides an amazing insight into the growth and development of one of the world’s most famous docks at a critical time in its history. From the specification informing tenders for work to details of landownership and rateable values we’ve not seen the likes of this before”.

Anyone interested in viewing the collection (Lot 759) at 1818 Auctioneers J36 (of the M6) Saleroom can do so on Friday 30 September 2-4pm, Saturday 1 October 10am-1pm and from 8.30am on the morning of the sale. 


Thursday, 29th of September 2016

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