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Hmm. This one is a little different than what we usually see around here. I have a few preliminary thoughts.


1. I don't believe that this is a mass-produced decorative model, as those tend to be purported reproductions of famous ships, and K. D. Echoes is definitely not a famous ship.

2. On the other hand, someone could have purchased just such a model and then endeavored to personalize it by adding the name.

3. The rig on the model is odd, because the topsails have gaffs. This might have been seen on early 19th-century schooners, but almost certainly not on one in 1930.

4. So my "educated" (for whatever that's worth) guess is that this is a scratch-built model based on someone's idea of what a schooner looks like (as opposed to built from plans or a kit), and that the name and date have some sort of personal significance to the builder; e.g. "K.D." could be someone they knew, and 1930 might be the year the model was built. The true story is probably lost to history.


Thanks for sharing!

Chris Coyle
Greer, South Carolina

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
- Tuco

Current builds: Brigantine Phoenix

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Thanks for your help. It’s been in my family for as long a I remember but I don’t know why. It beautifully made, the pictures don’t do it justice. The metal work would be so hard to do even now at days.  I wish I knew the story. Thanks for your help. Appreciate it. You guys have some cool stuff to look at in here. 


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Ship modeling was a very popular hobby in the first third of the Twentieth Century, particularly between the wars. Magazines like Popular Mechanics featured ship model plans in nearly every issue.  Remember, this was at a time when there was no television and money was very tight. Guys had to find something to do with their time.  A lot of models were built then, but by today's "state of the art" standards, they appear quite crude. Some were "sailor built" models by seamen who'd "swallowed the anchor," (retired) and others by hobbyists. The "sailor-built" models are often apparent by their attention to the accuracy of the rigging (more apparent the more complicated the rigging is.) You'll see minor rigging features that would have been known to a man working in the rigging of a ship, while elsewhere on the model, particularly with respect to the hull lines, the model wouldn't be so accurate. That, of course, would be expected if the modeler knew his subject from the perspective of somebody who knew the vessel's rig intimately, but may well have never seen the vessel out of the water. Closer examination would be necessary to form a confident opinion, but this model may be "sailor-built." The anchor davit on the port bow is an interesting feature (the anchor may have come adrift of that,) what appears to be a crane to port of the foremast is unusual and warrants some research, and the rig appears to have been given more attention than the hull and deck furniture. (The "crane" may offer a clue to the use of the vessel if its purpose can be identified.)


The "sailor-built" models will bring a higher value, particularly if they are of an identifiable ship. That said, this model appears to be a rather nice bit of "folk art" that is now somewhere around ninety years old. It could use a good cleaning (with care... don't put it in the dishwasher!) and probably some light restoration if some of the rigging has come adrift. It's certainly worthy of display, if it's to your taste. (But I'd lose the plywood shadow box, if I were you.)  If not, it will be appreciated by somebody. There are those who collect things like old homemade fishing plugs, duck decoys, whirly-gigs,... and ship models. It may be "primitive," but have you priced a Grandma Moses painting lately?

Edited by Bob Cleek
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