$120k ship model leads maritime sale

A large model of a British ship-of-the-line carved from bone and ebony, a 1916 New York Yacht Club trophy, and a scrimshaw whale's tooth depicting the female pirate Fanny Campbell are some of the rare and enticing collectibles included in Christie's Maritime Decorative Arts sale on January 15, 2009.

The auction of over 200 items is devoted to high-quality maritime collectibles, including ships models, furniture, paintings, ship fittings, scrimshaw, silver, clocks, folk art and vintage photography.

Among the highlights of the upcoming January sale are two rare ship models.

The first, a large Napoleonic prisoner-of-war model is hollowed, planked and pinned in bone from the keel to the waterline, and accented with an ebony waist.

Among the intricate details carved in bone are the ship's figurehead, a belfry with a bone bell, life boats, and a pair of Jacob's ladders.

The sale will include two 18th-19th century rare ship models, of
exceptional craftsmanship

The model - created in the late 18th or early 19th century - is unusual for its large size, measuring 31 x 41.5 inches, and carries an estimate of $80,000-$120,000.

The second lot is an exceptional exhibition-standard model of the schooner yacht, called Brilliant, by Joseph Wheeler Appleton, one of the premier ship model builders of the 20th century.

Appleton created the model in 1933 after sailing aboard the Brilliant during a record-setting trans-Atlantic crossing.

Appleton's models appear only rarely on the auction market. Two others are in the permanent collection of the New York Yacht Club.

His Brilliant model, judged as an "extraordinary" example of craftsmanship, was displayed at the Yacht Club for nearly 50 years, and has been passed down in private hands from its original owner, Walter Barnum of Connecticut.

It will sell with an estimate of $40,000-60,000.



Images: Christie's




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