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.
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.
An original White Star builders’ dockyard model, exceedingly rare and highly desirable, the Royal Mail Steamship ALBERTIC is a superior example of the level of craftsmanship, pride and importance the company put into their dockyard models. The attention to detail, scale and sheer impressive size all make this a special and historic artifact from the glamorous age of Transatlantic voyaging and consolidation of the Passenger Liner companies.
Built solid from the lower hull, the model is dressed in her full regalia, gold-plated fittings throughout. The large wood-framed glass case that holds the model on four elevated stanchions also has her original, dual ALBERTIC brass name plates, identifying her and her allegiance to the White Star. Three deck rise above her pale red to black-and-white paint, with portholes and ventilators covering the model extensively. Quite interesting to note the number of lifeboats in the post-Titanic era of the Liners, 18 on davits with 10 of those having another, collapsible boat stored beneath on deck. The main deck is partially exposed, but the passenger walks are enclosed up through the cabin structure. Another innovation are the increased number of dual hinged gangways and hatches on the hull, the primary ones having the accommodation ladders permanently attached.
The model was built in 1923 as the S.S. OHIO. The ship originated as the vessel S.S. Munchen by the North German Lloyd line, launched on March 23, 1920 but never sailed. It was surrendered to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., transferred as part of the War Reparations Scheme concluding World War I. As the OHIO, she began her maiden voyage on April 4, 1923 from Hamburg to Southampton, on to Cherbourg and New York. She ran this route until Oct. 1926. When the Royal Mail Co. acquired all the holdings of White Star Line in 1927, OHIO transferred and became the ALBERTIC under that banner, back under true English ownership. Sailing her first voyage on April 22, 1927 she left Liverpool for Quebec and Montreal. Her destinations over the next three years would include these ports as well as New York, Southampton, Havre, London, and Boston. The company modernized the original model at that time, making it now and forevermore, the ALBERTIC.
Every contrivance was designed to immediate accessibility and function, so the officers and crew would have the means at hand to answer the growing demand of first-rate passage across the Atlantic. The Liner would be capable of booking 229 1st Class, 523 2nd Class, and 690 3rd Class passengers for a voyage. At 590'9" Length with a 72' Beam and a 37'7" Depth, she was a large ship yet capable of significant speed with 220 lbs. of pressure from her quadruple expansion engines. One of the very last passenger ships to wear the White Star Buff Funnel, just prior to the Cunard-White Star-British Government merger of 1934, she served until 1933, and was eventually sold and broken up in Osaka, Japan in 1934. This epic large dockyard model is what remains of the glorious liner.
A FULL MODEL OF THE TURBINE STEAMER WHICH ANNOUNCED THE RETURN OF THE GLORIOUS NORTH GERMAN LLOYD LINE IN 1928, A COMPANY WHICH ESTABLISHED ITSELF IN 1858. BREMEN’S FIRST TASTE OF FAME CAME ON HER MAIDEN VOYAGE FROM BREMENHAVEN TO NEW YORK, EARNING THE BLUE RIBAND ON AN AVERAGE SPEED OF 27.83 KNOTS, BREAKING THE 20 YEAR RECORD HELD BY CUNARD LINE’S MAURETANIA. SHE WOULD WIN IT AGAIN IN 1933 AFTER HER SISTER, EUROPA , WON IT IN 1930 FOR A WESTWARD CROSSING.
THE 92:1 SCALE MODEL IS MASTERFULLY COMPLETE, WITH THE CONFIGURATION SHOWING HER 1933 LENGTHENING OF HER FUNNELS. THIS REFIT ALLOWED THE ENGINEERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT THE ENGINES DRIVING THE QUADRUPLE SCREW TURBINES. MEASURING A FIT 938'L x 101'B, THE SHIP WEIGHED IN AT 51,656 TONS. THE 102 INCH MODEL IS ONLY SLIGHTLY LESS, IN ITS BRASS, GLASS AND WOOD CASE. THE MULTIPLE DECKS ARE VACANT OF PEOPLE BUT FULL OF MINIATURE DETAILS SUCH AS THE COMPANIONWAYS AND DAVIT-HELD LIFEBOATS AND LAUNCHEs.
IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THE FLOATPLANE ON THE SUSPENSION CATAPULT AT THE MID-DECK. A GERMAN INNOVATION WHICH VERY FEW SHIPS OF ANY TYPE WERE ABLE TO CARRY, THE BOOM WOULD SWING AND EXTEND TO LAUNCH THE PLANE. THIS AIRCRAFT WOULD HAVE BEEN USED FOR MAIL SERVICE TO THE SHORE, AND AS A SPOTTER PLANE ON THE WATCH FOR ENEMY SHIPS ONCE WAR WAS UNDERWAY. BENEATH THE AVIATION LAUNCH ARE THE CUT-AWAYS OF THE NAME, BACKLIT WITH THE PORT AND STARBOARD RUNNING RED
AND GREEN LIGHTS, WHICH ARE HARD WIRED AND FUNCTIONING. VARIABLE SECTIONS OF THE CABIN PORTHOLES AND DECK LIGHTS WORK AS WELL. THE UPPER DECK FITTINGS ARE 22-KARAT GOLD-PLATE AND IN EXACTING POSITION. NOTE THE SHEER NUMBER OF SIGNALING STATIONS TO COMMUNICATE WITH ENGINE ROOM AND PILOT HOUSE.
BREMEN, (THE FOURTH SUCH LINER TO CARRY THIS NAME), WAS IN NEW YORK HARBOR AT THE TIME OF THE ONSET OF WORLD WAR II. LEAVING WITHOUT PASSENGERS, THE SHIP SKIRTED THE NORWEGIAN COAST AND MADE SAFETY OF HER HOME PORT OF BREMENHAVEN. THERE, WITH PLANS UNDERWAY AND OFF REPEATEDLY FOR IT TO BE USED AS A GERMAN TROOPS SHIP IN AN OFFENSIVE MOVE AGAINST THE UNITED KINGDOM, IT IS REPORTED THAT A JUNIOR CREW MEMBER, UPSET OVER BEING DISCIPLINED, SET FIRE TO THE SHIP ON MARCH 18, 1942. A TOTAL LOST, SHE WAS BROKEN UP IN 1953.
A spectacular full dockyard model of the British ocean-going tug boat EMPRESS OF INDIA, built in 1898 in Greenock, Scotland. The Steel Single Screw Tug was constructed in exacting style directly after the style of American tugs of New York with their long working deck space and elevated cockpits above the steadily raised hull. Working tugs are extremely rare as dockyard models, and this is a premier example of such a large Tug Boat model.
Steeply rising, the wood bridge helm and cabin is accompanied by the Red and Black company funnel, a solitary lifeboat suspended over the skylights on internal davits. Polished silver fittings run throughout the model’s deck, and her paint has been polished to a glossy sheen. Her skylight and cabin windows are painted on, the planking is inked, while the porthole windows and lined with an opaque green film. The quality glazed hardwood case completes the model in protective fashion.
Built for Jeremy Constant of London, he used her in multiple endeavors until selling the tug in 1903 to Sir John Jackson Ltd., who put her into service in the expansion of the Devonport Dockyard. She sold again to Florence Tugboat and Salvage Co. in 1907, to the Tees Tug Co. Ltd in 1909, in 1913 to the Anglo Persian Oil Company who renamed the tug SIRDAR-I_NAPHTE. She returned to British owners in 1915, and was retired soon after.
A fine quality contemporary scratch-built clipper ship model, in 1:96 scale, of the Clipper Ship COMET. She was built by William Webb of New York, launched in July 1851, to serve in the height of the California Gold Rush Trade, primarily for the passenger and cargo. On a return voyage to New York, she set a 76 day sailing record that still stands for a sailing ship.
Build in the Kennebunk yards at the birth of America’s grandest commercial sailing age, the 444-ton EXCELSIOR exemplified the first priorities of merchant shipping: full-bodied lines with heavy, dependable construction, allowing for secure massive cargoes. This would soon make way for the concept of speed, both in the already competitive tea trade with the Orient, and the California gold trade.
Her authentic builder’s half-block model shows the pride of craftsmanship the ship rightly deserved. Smartly painted in black with the dual waterline yellow-red combination, her level keel in the oxide-inspired red, the original paint is a highly desirable attribute for a model of this age. The bow trailboard has gilt decoration and the ships name is smartly at the port rail. The model fills the simple heavy wood backboard with presence.
Her history of service is varied and interesting. While far from completely recorded or discovered, she is listed as a ship under the command of Captain Charles Williams of Kennebunk at her launching. The Williams were merchant ship pioneers, in that they both captained and owned ships in both the merchant and whaling trades. His brother, William H. Williams is recorded as her captain the next year. She hits another role in 1848, listed under the Benjamin Bruce’s line of Boston as a coastal passenger and cargo carrier. She registers on the New York port survey in 1853, as a member the Old Line of American ships sailing to foreign ports. A verbal provenance suggested she did some whaling in the era as well, but substantiation of this service has yet to be found. A versatile ship remembered through a quality builders model.
Wood hull and deck warship model of H.M.S. VIVACIOUS (D-36) from the Northampton, England company of Bassett-Lowke.
Wood and metal construction with hull dark red below waterline and light grey above. 2 mid-sections lift off revealing single cylinder inverted vertical steam engine and boiler . Single screw with 3 bladed propeller. Details include 2 masts and rigging, 2 funnels, 10 ventilators. Mounted on wooden stand.
Dimensions 39 Inches Long x 5 Inches wide x 14 Inches high, 16 Inches high with base. Base: 29½ Inches long x 6¼ Inches wide.
Built in Sunderland in1879, the Screw Steamer MEDWAY was a product of the shipbuilding firm of S.P. AUSTIN & HUNTER in the district where the Tyne River meets the North Sea on England’s East Coast. Powered by a 99-horsepower compound engine built by Northeast Marine Engineering Company, the cargo ship also possessed two schooner-rig masts, and proved quite competent.
The model is very desirable, and it shows it in its highly unique half-round glass and carved display case, complete with hardware designed to flush mount the model on a wall. The masts are admiralty-style cut-aways, with just their beginnings showing. The decks come completely loaded with the working equipment necessary to run the large ship. The funnel is cut away as well, while there is a large vent next to the stack and one more in the middle of the small forecastle deck. Each deck and bridge is defined by fine carved ivory balustrades.
The model’s precise scale well represents the ship’s 226'L x 31'B x 15'8"D actual size. While the ship’s hull was built with four main bulkheads, the model is carved and owns fine gilded bow and stern decorations. Registered at the Port of London, the open bridge with wing bridges to each side would have offered spectacular views of the English Coasts and cities along the Tyne and Thames Rivers.
MISS ENGLAND III, Pennant No. K.1., set the World Speed Boat record at 119.81 miles per hour with Kaye Don as her racing captain at Loch Lomond, Scotland, on July 18, 1932. Smack in the evolutionary heart of the modern sport, she faced off against MISS AMERICA X in the Harmsworth Challenge Cup.
This is a fine scale model of an early dual-prop hydroplane speedboats with a squared-off stern.
THIS HALF-BLOCK MODEL REPRESENTS ONE OF THE EARLY VESSELS OF THE FAMOUS SHIRE LINE. DESIGNATED AS A MEDIUM CLIPPER, THE FULL RIGGED-SHIP ARGYLSHIRE [185.8'LOA x 31.2'D x 18.4'D] WAS BUILT OF IRON AT THE YARD OF THOMAS LAW & CO. IN 1870.
UNDER THE COMMAND OF CAPTAIN JOHN PEATTIE, SHE WAS USED IN THE AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRANT TRADE, MAKING YEARLY RUNS FROM GLASGOW TO QUEENSLAND, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. SHE WAS LOST ON FLAT JASON ISLAND NEAR AUSTRALIA IN JULY OF 1893.