The Sinking of the Essex

The Sinking of the Essex mini sheet
In August 1819 the 238 ton whaleship Essex sailed from Nantucket, Massachusetts beginning a planned two-and-a-half year voyage to the rich “whaling grounds” of the South Pacific. In November 1820 in the southern Pacific under Captain George Pollard Jr. the Essex was attacked and sunk by a large sperm whale. The ship sank within two days but the twenty crew were saved, along with three small boats; navigational equipment and sail cloth and headed in the direction of Chile.

Illustration  by Thomas Nickerson
Illustration by Thomas Nickerson (ex Cabin Boy),
Courtesy of the Nantucket Historical association.
The survivors were more than 1,900 kilometres (1,200 miles) from the nearest islands (the Marquesas) without adequate supplies of food and freshwater. They came across Henderson Island in the Pitcairn Group and rested there but with little food and water available they set off again leaving behind three crew. At sea again, the men suffered with dehydration and starvation, and many died.
Plaque on the Captain George Pollard house in Nantucket
Plaque on the Captain George Pollard house in Nantucket


When rescue came near South America, only two boats with five survivors were found. The Henderson crew were also saved almost a year after the Essex sinking. The tragedy attracted international attention, and inspired Herman Melville to write his now famous novel Moby-Dick.
The Sinking of the Essex FDC

Sinking of the Essex - purchase
Please Note: All prices are in New Zealand Dollars
Mini Sheet with 4 stamps
$9.30
First Day Cover with 4 stamps
$10.80

Technical Details

Designer:
Lucas Kukler, Cairo, Egypt

Pitcairn Stamps
proudly brought
to you by:

Bounty Post
Printer: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand

Process: Offset Litho
Stamp size: 48.00 mm x 38.67 mm horizontal
Format: Miniature Sheet 180mm 95mm
Denominations: $1.00; $1.80; $2.10 and $4.40
Paper: 105gsm NovaStamp non phosphor gummed stamp paper

Period of Sale:
28 February 2020 for a period of 2 years