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Builders Dockyard Model S.S.MINARD CASTLE

A very sharp and clean British Dockyard Builders Ship Model of a rare, early type in its original case, S.S. MINARD CASTLE shows as an example of the transitional period of merchant steamships with auxiliary sails, the rig used in complement to its Dual Cylinder Engines. The model is sharply lined, as the vessel itself was, and is quite attractive with its natural wood hull reflecting the materials used to build the ship and representative model alike.

Three pairs of small boats hang on davits parallel to its type: lifeboats, crew launches and officer’s boats. The deck is complete with four hatches, cabins fore and aft in number, and all the inked details of the many doors and windows. A full contingent of winches, booms and working gear complement her masts and sqaure-rigged sails. Her somewhat narrow beam of 32' compared to her 322' length and 26' depth of hold would have made her a challenging ship to sail and power, as her history proves.

MINARD CASTLE was built by Raylton Dixon & Co. in Middlesbrough, in North Yorkshire on the River Tees. Sir Raylton Dixon would build more ships than any other builder on the South Bank, first partnered with John Backhouse, and then with his brothers, John and Waynman. Raylton would become mayor of Middlesbrough in 1889. MINARD CASTLE wasn’t as fortunate. Launched in 1882, the 2,460 -ton vessel would wreck six miles southeast of Hong Kong on April 10, 1883 while carrying a cargo bound for Saigon, at a total loss. Her fine display in this model in its original case help us understand what a tragedy that must have been to her builders and owner, Thomas Skinner of the Cleveland Dockyard. A very rare and early steam/sail transition Merchant Ship Dockyard Model in superior original condition.

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Clipper WILD PIGEON Miniature Cased Model
Cased Scratch-Built Artisan Model by Donald McNarry

An exceptionally fine artisan miniature Clipper Model by Donald McNarry. Set on a superior modeled and painted sea, the Clipper WILD PIGEON is in its original wood and glass case.

The exacting 1 inch representing 32 feet of original American Clipper is more amazing when the model is examined up close. From its extreme tips to all its deck instruments and the American Flag flying at the hoist, it is an exceptional quality miniature ship model by one of the most renown and sought-after miniaturist, Donald McNarry of London.

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French Sailing Warship Le Hercule of 74 Guns
Napoleonic Prisoner of War Bone Ship Model


Well represented by her Trojan warrior figurehead of the Grecian demi-god, L’Hercule is a 74-gun French warship with a brief, violent career. Undoubtedly some of her captured crew were instrumental in the creation of this beautiful scale representation Napoleonic Carved Bone Ship Model within a British war prison. L’HERCULE fought an epic battle on her maiden voyage in 1798, only 24 hours after leaving her home port of Lorient on the Brittany Coast. Facing action in the Naval Battle of Raz de Sein on April 21, L’HERCULE was pursued by an equally armed British Third Rate, H.M.S. MARS. Off Brest, the two ships battled in close conflict for one-and-one-half hours, with the British eventually victorious and capturing L’HERCULE, whose officers recorded that they had 290 men killed or wounded, to 91 of the Brits. Once captured, L’HERCULE quickly became H.M.S. HERCULE, and well served the British Royal Navy for several years.

Premium artifacts of this era, carved bone ships made by prisoners during the Napoleonic Conflict are among the most collectible maritime artifacts to be identified. This exceptionally detailed French Tremaire Class Warship is a beautiful and delicate model. It has a sharp three-masted ship’s rig, and many original lines. The Ship-of-the-Line shows an exceptional amount of custom carvings, especially the elaborate quarter galleries and the ornate polychrome painted warrior figurehead. The use of baleen and wood for the rails and gunwales is an artistic take on this special model. Two mermen figures decorate the stern board carving, while a serpent swirls near the foot of the Hercules figurehead on the prow.

Beautifully detailed and proportioned, the model is in fantastic condition. The hull is finely pinned and accent striped in red, with two gun decks of 15 and 14 cannon per side, plus 8 top-deck guns show, with six “chase” barrels arraigned throughout the captain’s quarters at the stern. The three square rigged masts have traditional platforms with polychrome, and details such as the capstan and deck barrels are uniquely painted as well.. The ship is complete as it rests on its original ornate diamond checkerboard base of boxwood with red posts, all set under a quality mahogany and glass case.

Navies of the 18th & 19th Centuries were often augmented by captured ships, and the French and British claimed trophies into their respective forces quite frequently. The prisoner-artisans involved in the creation of this fine model - no doubt a team of experienced sailors and craftsmen with their individual personal experiences with carving, rigging and ship construction - would still be proud of this fine surviving nautical antique of L’HERCULE, with her French flag at the hoist.

Overall Model Dimensions: 11½ Inch Length with a 9 Inch Height

Hull Measures 8½ Inches at the Waterline

Oval Glass Case Dimensions: 14½ x 5⅝ with a Height of 11⅝ Inches

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French Warship Sailing Model
Napoleonic Prisoner-of-War of 74 Guns

Sailing among the massive 100-plus Gun First Rates of the Napoleonic Sailing Warships, the French and British Navies were well represented by a vast number of capable vessels. The single classification that most belonged to would be the 72-to-82 Gun Ships that made up the French Standard and British Third-Rate classes. Considered to be both the ‘Backbone of the British Royal Navy’ and the French Admiralty’s most versatile warship, these Men-Of-War saw more of the naval combat in this era than any other type.

A sharp and finely carved ship model, a Trojan Warrior Figurehead holds the bow forward, shield and sword at the ready, with traditional carved rope line rails, and catted anchors, followed by a bell in its belfry and a deck capstan and barrels. The hull is pinned and planked, with baleen gunwales between the decks of cannons, their ports painted the traditional blood red. The finely carved stern and quarter galleries echo the elite cabins of the officer’s living quarters. The base fits the model perfectly in style and size.

This work of precise modelers art was made in a British wartime prison, and it records the French pride the skillful makers held for their naval ships. Where most of the Prisoner-made models were of British ships, to find a ready market sale through the guards, this particular 74-Gun warship still held her French identity of her artisans. A great example of this elusive and sought after nautical art form.

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Les Heros, 74 Gun Ship of the Line
Napoleonic Prisoner of War Bone Ship Model


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Live Steam Launch Ship Model BAT
20th Century Scratch-Built Model of Famous 1891 Vessel

A fine quality live-steam model, this scratch-built 1/8 scale model is in complete working order. It is a 20th Century model of the Windermere Boat built by Brockbank from her first owner, Alfred Sladen, from his own design.

Historically, BAT was the first ship ever steered by remote control, from the experiments of Isaac Story and Jack Kitchen.

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