Frederick SCHELL

The mail steamer leaving Auckland 1886


360 x 560 mm

Signed. Illustrated in Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, published Sydney 1883-1886.

Edmiston Trust Collection, New Zealand Maritime Museum.

Frederick Schell has depicted the the paddle steamer VICTORIA leaving the harbour with the steamboat MARIPOSA flying an American ensign docked on her right.

The MARIPOSA was built in Philidalphia in 1883 for the Oceanic Steamship Company.

VICTORIA was built by Charles Bailey Sen. for the Devonport Steam Ferry Co. Ltd., and was launched in November 1881. Named after Queen Victoria she was the first paddle steamer built for the company and operated between Devonport and Auckland as a passenger and mail boat.

The company was keen to gain trade from the Auckland and North Shore Steam Ferry Company and the builders guaranteed a fast speed. Fitted out with locally made machinery and fittings she achieved a speed of 11¼ knots during her trials.

After 26 years of service on the Waitemata there was a campaign to have her and similar vintage paddle steamers removed. In 1912 when her survey certificate expired she was taken to “Rotten Row” behind Brown’s Island and sunk.

Frederick SCHELL 1838-1902

Frederick Schell was an illustrator born in America. In the 1880s he visited New Zealand and Australia to sketch and collect information for the three volume, Picturesque Atlas of Australasia edited by Andrew Garran. Published in Sydney between 1886 and 1888, 53,000 copies were sold.

There are over 800 illustrations in the publication. Schell supervised the illustrations undertaken by both colonial and American artists. His image of the PS VICTORIA can be found in volume iii.

In 1902 Schell died in an accident in Chicago.

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