This lot is offered without reserve.
Wayne G. LaPoe was born in Waynesburg, PA and was a graduate of Penn State. He flew combat with the 15th Air Corps during World War II and with the 5th Air Force during the Korean War, reaching the rank of Captain. He retired in 1986 as Senior Vice President, SAFECO Corporation, after 33 years.
Living less than 25 miles from the New York piers of the great steamship companies, Wayne often went down to the docks to tour the great ships. These memories inspired a sense of romance, adventure and history that would stay with him his entire life. The first piece that Wayne collected (and included in the sale) was a sign proclaiming, Welcome, S.S. America, which came from a light post near the docks at Newport News, VA in 1940. It was not until 1974, after one of the last voyages of the S.S. France as a trans - Atlantic liner, that Wayne realized the great ships were not destined to survive, and it was then that he decided to collect, and preserve, as much about their history as he could manage.
During the last 35 years, as a result of advertising, traveling and constant correspondence with collecting sources, Wayne LaPoe assembled an impressive collection. The collection covers a broad spectrum in a number of different areas. Historically, the collection spans over 150 years, and covers most of the major shipping lines. These include Boston Mail, White Star, Cunard, American Line, French Line (CGT), Hamburg - America, North Deutcher Lloyd, Holland America, Swedish American and many others. His favorite ship was the famous Art Deco French liner, S.S. Normandie, and the majority of his collection relates to this ship.
The consequence of this avid collecting was the inability to display the growing collection. Wayne resolved this issue in 1980 by building a new addition to his house connected by a breezeway. There he could display the larger portion of his collection and often rotated pieces on exhibit as he acquired new pieces. Highlights from the collection include: a chair from the Grand Salon of the Normandie (lot number 306), another chair from the 1st class dining room (lot number 145), 14 pieces of Boston Mail China, ca. 1841(lot number 6), the stern bell from the S.S. Leviathan (lot number 118), a panel from the "Rape of Europa" which was part of the Grand Salon on the Normandie (lot number 306), a number of fine company models, original shipping line posters on paper and tin, as well as numerous momentos and other fixtures.