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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