The steam packet Château Yquem

Model rigged and sparred at a scale (approximate) of 1/40th.
1884. Donated by Antoine Bordes. 235 x 90 x 23 cm. Inv. D.64.7.10

This ship had a career of two main halves: one as a luxury steam packet on the North American route, the other as a mail steamer on the Far East route.

Constructed in Bordeaux in 1884 and equipped by the Bordeaux Steam Navigation Company, a public company working on behalf of the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce, the Château Yquem was a passenger transport steamer, with salons and cabins in front of the engines.

Approximately 95 metres long, 10 metres wide and 36 metres high, displacing 3109 tonnes and equipped with powerful 625 horsepower engines, this Bordeaux-New York steamer was a luxury trans-Atlantic liner in the style of the much larger Normandie or more recently Le France. The imperialist ambitions of the 3rd Republic led France to undertake military operations in Africa and the Far East; the Tonkin campaign dragged on for many years (1873-1886).

This ship, like many others, was probably equipped as a mail steamer to join the maritime forces in the Far East. The Bordeaux Company was based at 6 Quai Louis-XVIII in Bordeaux and was directed by Henri Bordes. The House of Bordes was principally involved in Bordeaux in the equipment of sailing ships. This model was donated to the Town of Bordeaux in 1911 by Antoine Bordes.

The steam packet Château Yquem (c) mairie de Bordeaux