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“ For the 3rd Time

under Captain Brunswig’s Excellent Guidance … ! ”


Visitors’ Book

Prinzessin Victoria Luise - Visitors' Book 1905-1906

of the

First Cruise Ship

“Prinzessin Victoria Luise”

June 1905 — December 1906

Prinzessin Victoria Luise – Brunswig – Visitors’ Book of the “Prinzessin Victoria Luise” June 1905 – December 1906. 8¼ × 5¾ in (210 × 145 mm). 93 (of 94) ll., 26 of which written on. Original dark brown cuir ciselé binding with color tooled front board with the “Meteor” (sic!) before mountainous coast in foliated scroll with blue-silver-golden house flag “HAPAG” and colored maritime-ornamental endpapers with cloth fold and red-white headband. Red edges. Brass clasp (tie missing). (Georg Hulbe.)

Visitors' Book Prinzessin Victoria Luise: From New York to Venice 1906

Beginning with Kiel Week 1905 – “(In remembrance of the fine days with the Prinzeß Victoria Louise Kiel Weeks 1905 — E[rnst] Günther Herzog Schleswig-Holstein)” (brother-in-law of emperor Wilhelm II) – , cruises to the North Cape, to Spitsbergen and Scotland. 1906 first three cruises to the West Indies, then in April from New York to Venice and further on to Genoa. From there to Kiel Week 1906, in July to the North Cape, then Spitsbergen (back in Hamburg per entry captain Max Dietrich of the legendary Herzogin Cecilie of August 10) and once more to the North Cape. From the fatal cruise to the West Indies in mid-December 1906 following a transfer to New York as only – and final entries altogether – those by “Mrs. Broughton Brandenburg – New York City —“ and her notorious-colorful spouse, the author and journalist, i. a. for the New York Times, Broughton Brandenburg (i. e. Earl Victor Broughton Brandenburg, 1876-1963):

“ God’s untainted air and his unhindered sunlight on his mighty … sea makes good men. I am glad to have met one of them in the owner of this book – Broughton Brandenburg , Dec. 16. 1906 ”

With more than 300 entries

of  the  economical , social & political  high  society

an  international  Who’s Who  of  the  turn  of  the  century .

Albert Ballin’s spouse, Marianne, Julie von Engelcken, née Neven DuMont, as well as Ella Neven DuMont, née Böhme/Berlin, and Elisabeth von Engelcken, the former’s daughter (“[In remembrance of a quite cheerful ride!!]”), Dr. August Oetker with Caroline (“Line”) and son Rudolf, Karl August Lingner (“Odol”), the publisher Adolf Spemann, Stuttgart, with Julie, Wilhelm Vorwerk, Wiesbaden, Günther Killisch von Horn, youngest son of the founder of the Berliner Börsen-Zeitung, with spouse Magda, née Dick from Bonn, daughter of a captain in the navy, Alice von Raffay, Hermann Sauber, (Sauber Bros., oldest collier company in Hamburg), Alfred Ritter von Posner, in second generation owner of the largest printing & book binding company in Hungary, which in 1884 was granted the privilege to introduce the production of maps into Hungary, councilor of commerce Paul Boeckel, St. Petersburg (coal, iron and brick trade), Jan Volkert Wierdsma, 1880-1905 President Director of Holland-America Line, Ottilie von Kubinzky, spouse of the Austro-Hungarian textile industrialist Emil v. K., with daughter Mea Countess Boos zu Waldeck.

Visitors' Book Prinzessin Victoria Luise: l. 10 versoVisitors' Book Prinzessin Victoria Luise: l. 12 recto

Mayor Johann Heinrich Burchard and Senator Friedrich Sthamer of Hamburg, Friedrich Baron von Dincklage-Campe, author i. a. of Waidmannsbrauch und Jägerart, Professor Ludwig Sütterlin from Heidelberg, J., R. & E. Bunau-Varilla (Paris; Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla?, prime mover for both the construction of the Panama Canal and the revolution leading to the foundation of the state of Panama), Admiral Conrad von Bodenhausen, Count Wolff Metternich, Lucy von Motz, née Ertel, with Bianca, Lieutenant-general Karl von Einem, Secretary of State and War, with spouse Irmgard (“[Always the right weather wishes … in remembrance of the fine northland cruise …]”), Count Günther von der Goltz, Aix-la-Chapelle, the Meiningen veterinarian and state veterinary surgeon Gustav von Vaerst, the Göttingen bacteriologist and hygienist Erwin von Esmarch, Marie Countess Görtz-Wrisberg, widow of Secretary of State Hermann Count Görtz-Wrisberg, who was instrumental in the preservation of Brunswick’s independence during the regency 1884-1913, in company of both her daughter from first marriage, Martha Degener, and Marianne Bierbaum of the Brunswick banking family, Joseph Ballard Murdock, commander USS Denver, later rear admiral and supreme commander of the Asiatic Fleet, Mrs. Henry Edward Roehr (Brooklyn Free Press), Rear Admiral Charles Dwight Sigsbee, commander of the US Navy’s North Atlantic Fleet, Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden and Princess of Baden, the writer Lita zu Putlitz, the marine painter Hugo Schnars-Alquist (“Many paintings aboard the steamers of ‘Hapag’ and ‘Hamburg-Süd’”, Thieme-Becker), Eberhard Count von Schmettow, aide-de-camp of emperor Wilhelm II, Hans von Krosigk, district president of Neuhaldensleben, the later lieutenant-general Wedig von Zitzewitz with Agnes, née Puttkamer, Marie von Zitzewitz, Stolp/Pomerania, Friedrich von Schorlemer-Alst, the arctic explorer Theodor Lerner , Count Eugen von Kesselstatt on Kesselstatt Castle at Treves, Agnes von Kleist, Berlin, Kaiserallee 15, the Norwegian painter Hans Andreas Dahl , son of Hans Dahl, patronized by Wilhelm II, Émile de Mot , mayor and senator of Brussels, Arthur or Walther von Wrochem, Professor D. Leopold Witte, protestant theologian, divine inspector and superintendent at Pforta, son of the lawyer and Dante researcher Karl Witte etc. etc.

Visitors' Book Prinzessin Victoria Luise: To Spitsbergen 1906
“For the 3rd Time under Captain Brunswig’s Excellent Guidance & hopefully not for the last time!”

Already since 1891 the HAPAG conducted cruises, not least for a better utilization of the ocean liners on the North Atlantic route particularly in the winter months. However, designed and furnished for a though comfortable, yet foremost fast crossing these ultimately proved as less suitable and in regard of both their size and machine power also by far oversized – unlike emigration in the steerage cruises were a bulk business not yet. Therefore immediately after his appointment as HAPAG managing director, Albert Ballin ordered 1899

an exclusive cruise ship

with the appearance of a private yacht

as in such a manner first cruise ship at all .

Named after the emperor’s daughter, who also had advised Ballin for the furnishing, the Prinzessin Victoria Luise was equipped with 120 spacious staterooms with baths (sic!) of the first class exclusively. Designed for 15 knots she kept adequately distinctly behind the ocean liners. Library, gymnasium and darkroom rounded off the offer.

Prinzessin Victoria Luise
Prinzessin Victoria Luise

With cruises targeted toward wealthy travelers ,

the Victoria Luise was designed to look more like a private yacht …

She was painted all white with two masts , one fore and aft ,

and two tall, slim funnels amidships .

She had a rounded stern

and a richly decorated clipper bow , with bowsprit ,

ending in a figurehead of the German princess .


Photo: © Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division,
Detroit Publishing Company Collection, LC-D4-21813

On the evening of December 16, 1906 captain H. Brunswig attempted to enter the port of Kingston (Jamaica without a pilot – one was seven hours early – yet in the course of a navigational error the boat ran onto the rocks near Port Royal. While the crew quieted the passengers, Brunswig took his life. The following morning the passengers could be landed with their baggage through a boat chain and continue the cruise on the Kronprinzessin Cecilie called in. After futile salvage attempts December 19 – and by this six years to the day after her commissioning – the Prinzessin Victoria Luise was given up in view of great damage and the weather turning worse.

To deploy the Prinzessin Victoria Luise preferentially for the more solvent American clientele, 1904 the smaller Meteor of present frontcover illustration was commissioned as second cruise ship particularly for European cruises. First commanding the latter, captain Brunswig took over the Prinzessin for the Kiel Week 1905. So then also an entry from the following North Cape cruise:

Visitors' Book Prinzessin Victoria Luise: Spitsbergen 1905

“ (On the Meteor ‘au revoir’ — Fulfilled on Victoria Luise

Before here we do part again / It’s the same greetings! ”

With inevitable priorities Germany/Austria-Hungary – here to be mentioned repeatedly Vienna & Budapest – on the one hand and New York on the other hand, the entries extend from Petersburg to Cincinnati and Santa Fe, New Mexico, from Denmark to Italy. In-between guest entries of partly official, partly private kind during harbor stays and run through by the golden thread of the popularity and esteem captain Brunswig – on the first German Deep Sea Expedition 1898/9 on the HAPAG steamer Valdivia as first mate also responsible for arrangement and execution of the expedition works – enjoyed among his passengers:

“ (That captain Brunswig is a credit to his profession, / The ‘Hapag’ Company indeed found it for their benefit long ago / That he also is the most brilliant pleasure director, / The ‘Prinzess’s’ passengers recognize it gratefully and confirm upon their word —

Mea Countess BoosWaldeck / August 2, 1905) ”


Bookbinder Georg Hulbe

Kiel 1851 – Hamburg 1917

established himself after apprenticeship as bookbinder and journeyman years 1876 first in Kiel, but changed to Hamburg already 1880, where the director of the Museum for Arts and Crafts, Justus Brinkmann, recognizing

“ H’s  mastership

in  the  technical-artistic  treatment

and  in  the  decoration  of  the  leather ,

supported him by word and deed. Inspired by old leather works of the museum in Hamburg (Nuremberg Hare Hunt binding from 1475) H. chiefly turned to the cuir ciselé (cut leather), yet without getting past an imitation seeming cold today. His workshop, employing 200 employees, was of international prominence in the period of the Proto Renaissance of the 1880s and 90s. With the turn of the century it turned to the art nouveau, yet without ever fully desisting from the Renaissance imitations ”

(Alfred Rohde in Thieme-Becker XVIII [1925], p. 105).

The cuir ciselé appeared in the Middle Ages with the leather binding parallel to the embossing with stamps, where

“ the traced lines (are) cut in with the knife … Lest the cuts in the leather do not close again, the cut lines are now expanded by tracing with a blunt instrument.

The  cut  drawing  now  has  to  be ,

if  it  should  come  into  real  effect ,

Visitors' Book Prinzessin Victoria Luise: cuir ciselé

raised  a  little  from  the  surface ,

brought  to  a  certain  relief …

The cuir ciselé work requires , being a freehand work, particular skill, yet makes the work entirely independent of any stamp and any plate and allows

to  transfer  any  artistic  design  onto  the  leather …

In the German Renaissance movement in the arts and crafts in the 70s and 80s of the 19th century also the old German technique of the cuir ciselé was revived for book binding. In Hamburg … Georg Hulbe recommenced it … In Hamburg the artistic bookbindery has taken a remarkable upsurge lately. Beside Georg Hulbe … ”

(Jean Loubier, Der Bucheinband in alter und neuer Zeit, pp. 60 f., 170 & 178).

Extending his activities to leather arts and crafts and production, 1895 Hulbe manufactured all leather chairs & leather wallpapers for the Reichstag in Berlin and 1897 the entire leather furnishing of the new city hall in Hamburg including the cuir ciselé binding for the Golden Book of the Hanseatic city. With show and sales rooms in first location each at Jungfernstieg in Hamburg as well as in Berlin and Frankfurt, the move into the Hulbe House in Mönckebergstraße as now own quarters came in 1911. On its gable, however, still today

Hulbe’s signet , the cog ,

which then also present volume bears on the backcover lower right – lower left “Georg Hulbe / Hamburg-Berlin” – in blind stamp as signature and which besides

dominates  in  gold  print  the  endpaper  ornamentation , too .

The binding here and there minimally rubbed, only the colors of the house flag affected more. – Missing the neatly separated next-to-last written sheet with the beginning of the fatal cruise to the West Indies Dec. 1906. Otherwise pristine and in such a manner not just a

“Reminiscence of the shared voyages

on ‘dear old Prinzess’”

but roundly standing for that World of Yesterday,

when cruises still were an exclusive pleasure

far  from  today’s  bulk  industry .

Offer no. 29,005 / price on application