Pictured below is a photograph of a model ship which I bought lately for a few pence.
The plastic display box was damaged and most of the descriptive label missing. The paper flags on each mast were bleached and unrecognisable. The model is just 10cm long, and in scale terms perhaps somewhere between 1/450th and 1/600th scale. The remnants of the label indicate this was made in the UK, possibly as a commemorative gift, and in the past decade or two.
What I do know is that over the paddle boxes is a small insignia not unlike a harp, or a stylised ‘P’ and the ship is finished in black, with white paddle boxes and a rust-red funnel. The slender funnel and the odd forecastle seem to suggest that this is a vessel of the 1830s or 1840s, and it certainly represents a merchant ship. The model was waterline, and by releasing a screw underneath, I was able to rescue it from the broken box, and have cemented it to plasticard.
I’ve trawled several works on nineteenth century shipping, but this rare vessel eludes me. I wondered if any readers could identify it, and suggest why it was deemed worthy of commemoration.
Perhaps commissioned by a shipping line as its first steamship? Or for a specific reason, maybe it was ‘the first vessel to .... ‘? This is a well crafted model, all metal, bar the topmasts and ratlines, and must have been made in some numbers.
Lyncroft House, 257 Clydach Road,
Ynysforgan, Morriston, Swansea,