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ACACIA Class Sloop H.M.S. HONEYSUCKLE of 1915
Dockyard Builder's Model in Mahogany Case

This large, impressive builder’s dockyard model of the H.M.S. HONEYSUCKLE is of museum quality with an outstanding level of detail and craftsmanship. Fitted with gold, silver and copper plated fittings throughout, recently replated.

At the bow, a pair of thick anchor chains and a large windlass hold both anchors aloft. Behind, the first deck gun sits on a raised platform. The conning tower rises three levels above the open deck with portholes and rails on each level. One binnacle sits outside at the top with another inside the wheelhouse, behind the fore steering station. Dual searchlights sit on either side of the wheelhouse.

Copper antennae for the wireless telegraph runs between the two masts, with two down leads dropping just fore of the front funnel and ringed in a protective copper fence near the deck, running through it to terminate in the Wireless Office below, a very unusual and innovative for its time, communication configuration.

At the aft, sits the winch leading to the U-shaped support structure at the stern from which the ship would trawl, seeking to set loose mines attached to the ocean floor. Above the winch sits the aft gun and behind it a second steering station.

The ACACIA class was the first of the so called, “Flower Class” ships of the Royal Navy. Classed as sloops, these ships were built under the Emergency War Program at the start of World War I. The 24 vessels of the ACACIA class were all started in January of 1915 and launched within four or five months. HONEYSUCKLE was built in five at Lobnitz & Co. Shipyard of Renfrew, Scotland, and launched in June of 1915. To ease pressure on shipyards experienced in building larger warships, the smaller ACACIA class was designed to be built at merchant yards like Lobnitz, who at the same time built another of the class, the H.M.S. Iris, launched a month after HONEYSUCKLE.

Also called the “Cabbage Class” or the “Herbaceous Borders” the ACACIAs were the first purpose built minesweepers- a clear indication of the serious threat of mines to the British and Allied fleets. It was feared that convoys could be lured into minefields with large losses of ships and crews that could seriously weaken an entire Navy.

HONEYSUCKLE weighed in at 1,210 tons, at a length of 262.5 feet overall, with a 33 foot beam and 12 foot draught. Coal-powered with two funnels, the ships had double boilers but only a single screw (propeller) with a four cylinder, triple expansion reciprocating engine. This configuration made the ACACIA class half the speed of Destroyers of the same period, or about 16 knots. The choice of conventional steam engines rather than faster turbines made the ships less expensive to build and they were meant as a forward guard, clearing a path for faster ships rather than trying to keep pace with them.

The ACACIAs became well known for being very seaworthy ships, sturdy and maneuverable in many different conditions. With their triple thick, reinforced bows to offer extra protection against mine blasts, 21 of 24 ACACIA ships, including HONEYSUCKLE, survived the war.

After the Battle of Jutland in 1916, a rise in submarine attacks on British merchant ships required larger fleets, so the ACACIAs were fitted to carry depth charges, additional guns were added to the decks and they were redeployed as convoy escorts. With a long range of about 2,000 miles, along with their good seakeeping they were just as successful guarding ships in the North and Atlantic seas. The HONEYSUCKLE model, built at the same time as the ship, shows the ship’s original two gun minesweeper configuration.

The mahogany base of the case is original, as are the brass plinths holding the model. The outer case of fine grained, French polished mahogany, and double pane safety glass was made later in a period appropriate style. Original brass maker’s plaques are set on both sides of the case. A builder’s dockyard model of a sister 1915 ACACIA class sloop, the H.M.S. SNAPDRAGON, is in the collection of the Greenwich Maritime Museum in London.

This is an outstanding builder’s model of an active wartime Naval vessel.

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Builder's Dockyard Model of a Steam Tender

A very rare builder's dockyard model of a steam tender from the 19th century luxury steam yacht Wintonia. The model is made in mahogany with plank on frame construction. Built to scale and in excellent condition, all original, with brass hardware and steam engine the model is housed in its original glass and mahogany case.

The luxury steam yacht WINTONIA was built by Day, Summers and Co. In Southampton, England in 1894 for her owner F.H. Putnam. She weighed 233 tons and measured 137' LOA x 19.2'B x 11.2'D.

Among the photographs of the model you can also see a detail of a painting of the Wintonia by Antonio DiSimone and an original photograph that were formerly in our gallery collection. These are not included in the piece but are shown for reference.

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Builder's Half Hull Model of the Mary Jose
Taken from the Builder's Shipyard

A fine builder's dockyard half hull model of the iron three masted sailing barque MARY JOSE. Built by Birrell Stenhouse & Co. of Dumbarton, England, she was completed in 1876 and launched on January 26th of the same year. Weighing in at 634 tons at a length of 177 feet, 29 ft. breadth and 17.5 ft depth, she was built as a cargo vessel.

She served her first owners, John Jose & Co of Perran-ar-Worthal, Cornwall for nearly twenty years before being sold to J.P. Calusen of Nordby, Denmark, where her name was changed to the Agda. In 1918, she was sold to Manuel G. Marron y Angulo of Havana, Cuba. A year later, she was came back to Europe under the ownership of Chemins de Fer de l'État Francais, Marseilles and was renamed GENEVRIER, until being decommissioned in 1926.

This model was constructed of lifts to aid in shaping the final ship's hull. The painted plaque on the lower right bears the name and location of her shipbuilders.

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Extremely Large Napoleonic Prisoner of War Bone Model of the H.M.S. CALEDONIA
120 Gun First Rate British Ship-of-the-Line


Ordered in 1797, the 120 Gun First Rate Ship-of-the-Line HMS CALEDONIA was launched in 1808 from Plymouth Harbor, taking to sea as Admiral Pellew's flagship in the Mediterranean.

CALEDONIA proved to be a very successful ship, and it was said that 'This fine three-decker rides easy at her anchors, carries her lee ports well, rolls and pitches quite easy, generally carries her helm half a turn a-weather, steers, works and stays remarkably well, is a weatherly ship, and lies-to very close.' She was 'allowed by all hands to be faultless'. In later years she was to become the standard design for British three-deckers.

The ship served the Royal Navy throughout her long life at sea, first as a battleship seeing action against the French in the early 1800's and decades later renamed DREADNOUGHT and docked at Greenwich for a time to serve as a floating hospital ship. She even participated as part of an experimental squadron testing new maritime strategies and technology.

The supreme sailing warships of their age, British Ships-of-the-Line were classified by the number of cannons they carried. Fewer than 18 in service at any point carried 100 guns or more to earn the first-rate designation. Considered a pinnacle artform of the ship modeling craft, bone ships made by prisoners during the Napoleonic Conflict are among the most collectible maritime artifacts to be identified.

This rare model is one of the largest POW bone models we have seen in 44 years of offering these models in our gallery

Model Dimensions: 45 Inches in Length Overall, Height 31 1/2 Inches, Depth 12 1/2 Inches, Hull approximately 27 3/4 Inches Long

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Full Builders Dockyard Model of Sister Tugs FLYING SWIFT and FLYING LINNET
Ferguson Brothers, Port Glasgow

Port Glasgow sits on the Clyde River, and has been major center of shipping since the late 1600’s. Set up as port for the nearby city of Glasgow, this was the last place seagoing ships could dock before sandbanks made further passage upriver impossible. A hundred years later, shipbuilding came to the area and by 1900, it was a major hub of the industry, with yards crowding the river banks.

It was in this setting that the four brothers of the Ferguson family launched their own shipbuilding company. The family leased a choice yard space next to Newark Castle on the Clyde and in March of 1903 Ferguson Shipbuilding Company was born. Their first order, two steam tugboats, the FLYING SWIFT and FLYING LINNET for the Clyde Shipping company. This builder's dockyard model of the tugs was likely the first thing to come out of their new venture.

Modeled in 1/4 in. scale and in outstanding condition, this rare model has recently had all fittings replated in gold, silver or copper. Displayed in her original glass and mahogany case, this is a striking piece of the model craft full of fine detail throughout, from the fire buckets on the cabin roof to the lights on her mast and deck, to the anchors and fittings on the bow and rear deck and more. Unusually, there are two presentation plaques, one at the bow and another on the port side, perhaps an extra effort for the yard's first commission.

Tugboats were the workhorses of the ocean and full dockyard models of historic tugs are rare and hard to find. Both of these vessels were very active bringing ships up and down the Clyde, to and from docks along the river. Details remain only for the Flying Swift, which launched on October 26, 1903 and operated for more than 50 years. A photo of the historic vessel is shown in the listing for reference purposes (not included).

Today the Ferguson Shipbuilders are the last remaining shipyard on the lower Clyde, and the only builder of merchant ships on the river. Still in their original location next to Newark Castle, the yard is the last vestige of an industry which dominated the area, and Scottish life on the sea, for more than a century.

Hull Length: 29 Inches Long

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

Extremely fine workmanship went into this live-steam scratch-built 1/8 scale model in complete working order. It is a late-20th Century model of the Windermere Boat built by Brockbank from her first owner, Alfred Sladen, from his own design. Completed fitted out with a working engine and equipment, in is absolutely an artisan ship model, set in a heavy brass-edged glass case for display.

The hull is plank-on-frame, painted red below the waterline. Historically, BAT was the first ship ever steered by remote control, from the experiments of Isaac Story and Jack Kitchen. It is believed the first example of a vessel being controlled by radio. Found derelict at Bowness in 1966, she was rebuilt and now can be found in the Windermere Steamboat Museum. This epic British scratch-built live model is one of four known to have been built to this quality.

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