This classic steam yacht model is a fine look at a luxurious ship built for leisure cruising at the opening of the 20TH Century. From the design of the famous George L. Watson, the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company launched the steel-hulled schooner yacht in 1902 for Scottish philanthropist James Coats. She was one of the only Plum Bow steam yachts ever built, carrying 170' LOA with a 22.5 Beam and 11' Draft. Fairly light for her size at 318 gross tons, she would be lengthened 7' in 1923 and an upper deck of cabins added.
Half-block dockyard models are becoming increasing rare and have increased substantially in value over the past decade. This fine model is a sterling example, for not only the scarcity of type, but with the artistry performed by the commissioned modelers working with the illusionary fullness of a silver-faced backing mirror, creating a truer full ship reflection. The instrumentation and hardware gleams, from the twin screw props to the telegraph station that is facing the mirror so that the dial is only in view in the reflection. The below deck accommodations are illuminated through the windows in the gabled roof covers that rise slightly off the deck. Two wheel stations are visible, with the stern wheel working independent or in tandem with the open-air bridge on the walkway. The triple-colored black-burnt sienna-burnt umber hull paint is a British tradition with modelers.
TRITON was to serve in World War II as a calibration ship on patriotic loan by Sir Frederick Preston, who had renamed her HINIESTA when he purchased the yacht in 1939. He was her seventh owner, but far from the last. The yacht was known as RHOUMA, OSPREY and PRESIDENT ROBERTS as well under different owners over her history. She reportedly finished her days chartering cruises in the Mediterranean in the late 1970s after decades of service, dependability and high style. A very elegant model from the pinnacle of the steam yacht era.
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