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Vintage Silverplate Pacific Steam Navigation Co. Soup Cup

Vintage Silverplate Pacific Steam Navigation Co. Soup Cup

$150.00

One of the most innovative shipping companies of the 19th Century, the Pacific Steam Navigation Company (PSNC) was the first to use steam ships for commercial traffic in the Pacific Ocean.  The company was incorporated in London in 1838.  Its founder was American entrepreneur William Wheelwright who had a vision of providing service to the largely uncharted west coast of South America.  He found the financial backing for his venture in England and by 1868 was offering the first steam powered service direct from Liverpool, via Panama and Cape Horn, to the Pacific Ocean and the lucrative markets of South America.

With mail contracts from the British government, the PSNC went from operating 2 paddleboat steamers to becoming the largest steamship company in the world in 1873 with a fleet of 57 steamships. Over the years, partnerships were formed with the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, as well as the Orient Line, which allowed the PSNC to expand its routes to also include service to Australia.

The Pacific Steam Navigation Company began offering luxury passenger service as early as 1908 with its Orcoma, the largest vessel in South American service at the time. The PSNC's most famous passenger ship was the Reina del Pacifico which was built in 1931.  It set a new standard of luxury and comfort in the South American market, with its public rooms decorated in a Spanish Moresque design.  This proud "Queen of the Pacific" could carry 800 passengers in first, second and third class accommodation.  With the growth of jet travel, fewer and fewer people were booking their journeys via ship and by 1958 the Reina del Pacifico made its final crossing.

In 1965, PSNC was acquired by the British shipping company Furness Withy, signaling the end of a glorious era of steamship travel.

Found at market outside of London, we are pleased to offer this elegant Vintage Silverplate Soup Cup produced for use aboard the Pacific Steam Navigation Company's ships.  With a practical side handle, classic border detailing and the beautifully engraved cursive initials PSNC below a regal Tudor crown, this elegant cup is sure to serve you well today just as it did for so many years at sea.

Produced by Britain's premier silversmiths at Mappin & Webb, this very rare cup will be perfect for a special soup, an elegant coffee drink, or as a dish for nuts or sauces and condiments. Sure to share its romantic and storied provenance, this gleaming piece will be a beautiful addition to any collection.


Strictly limited quantities (at listing, a total of 2 cups are available) and subject to prior sale. In very good vintage condition. Circa 1930. Measures 2.25"H x 6"W.

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