Lymington, 1st.ed., 1970. 272 pp., profusely illustrated with sepia photographs and detailed line drawings. D.j., 29 x 22cm. FINE. Published in 1970, this lavishly illustrated book examines in detail 120 of the finest luxury steam yachts in the world, chiefly those at sea during the first two decades of the 20th century. Only a handful were built after the First World War. This was the ultimate symbol of a man’s wealth - their cost and requirements were awesome in terms of construction, fittings, crew salaries, provisions, clothing for crew, fuel, repairs and docking. These floating palaces were decorated and furnished as elaborately as the most luxurious mansion ashore. The author has gathered together facts and figures of 120 vessels describing their social significance, engines and careers. The earliest steam yacht is the two-funnelled paddle-steamer NORTH STAR of 1853 ; the last is Onassis’s ex. Canadian frigate CHRISTINA of 1954. For each of the 120 vessels listed there is a photograph (and in many cases an accurate line drawing) ; data includes former names, owners, designers, etc., plus a history of the ship. THE WORLD’S FINEST STEAM YACHTS OF THE 19TH & 20TH CENTURIES.