Product images of 'Dolphin' (Br, 1822)
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'Dolphin' (Br, 1822)
This full hull model of an early 19th century steam yacht named 'Dolphin' is the earliest representing a steam vessel in the collection. The hull is made of a wooden core, probably 'bread and butter' fashion, which has then been gouged out internally, onto which the planks have been glued and pinned. It is complete with draught marks on the stem and stern post, from which the scale of 1:32 is calculated. The decking, a thin wooden sheet with the individual planks scored on, lifts away to reveal the engine and two cabin compartments. On the underside of the engine room decking, an inscription reads 'BUILT BY ALLEN HUNT Aged 81 1822'. The model maker's name appears again in the form of a half-section of his original business card glued and varnished to the cabin bulkhead in the aft compartment.
It is powered by a clockwork mechanism which turns a square shaft connected to the paddle wheels, which can be removed by lifting out the wooden shutters. The paddle boxes are inscribed 'The Model of a Steam Yacht' on the outside face, whilst the top cover lifts off to give access to the metal wheels themselves. The name 'Dolphin' is painted on the stern counter, above the square tuck stern, but research so far has been unable to identify this model with any particular vessel. The rear cabin is furnished with a painted floor covering together with upholstered side benches. The cabins are also fitted with doors and hatches with working metal hinges and actual glass has been used for the windows and portholes. The model was owned by the Duke of Northumberland and is regarded as one of the oldest working ship models in existence.
- Image reference: F9291-002
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection