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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Victorian River Launch At Bonhams Henley Sale

If you raise your bidding paddle at the right moment in this year’s Bonhams sale in Henley, Saturday 19 July, you could sail home with ‘Belle’, a magnificent Victorian river launch.

river-launch.jpgLicensed to carry 100 passengers on the river and kitted out to cater for 70, ‘Belle’ has worked on the Thames and the river Severn and comes to Bonhams’ sale in tip-top condition after a major restoration four years ago.

A rare find, this grand 75ft vessel has earned a place in the Historic Ship’s Register, and comes to auction for the first time in her long and busy life. Built in Kingston on Thames in 1894, ‘Belle’ then sailed around Lands End to Worcester, via the Bristol Channel, to work as a passenger trip boat on the Severn. Rescued in a dilapidated state in 1980, she was returned to the Thames to be restored to her former glory. Now in fine fettle and currently operating as a charter boat, she has been much in demand for parties, celebrations and long lazy afternoons on the river.

Ready to entertain on a grand scale, ‘Belle’ would also make a perfect floating office, be it on the Thames or indeed on any waterway from here to Russia. No need to change the pictures on the walls – just change the scenery through the windows.

‘Belle’ was originally fitted with a steam engine but is now propelled through the water using a modern diesel engine. This charming rivercraft is expected to sell for a six-figure sum and will be moored up and available to view prior to Bonhams’ annual Henley sale.

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