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Collections of Ship Models: Help!

Sam Willis

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Not sure if I can find something matching the Royal George in terms of artisanship, but the late 18th century Swedish navy is well represented by contemporary models, including a series of rather impressive 1/16 models - for these your macro lenses are probably overkill. 😃


Most of it is digitalized, see e.g. here (at the bottom of the page there are links to other sets of models):








Archipelago frigates:





Edited by Matle
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1. There's a contemporary model of the Royal George at the University of Hannover. It was a gift by the Prince of Wales to the University of Göttingen in 1744. However, it is the only model on display there. 


Modell der "Royal George" von 1715 · Universitätssammlungen in Deutschland (universitaetssammlungen.de)


2. There are many nice models at the "Deutsches Museum" in Munich. I personally would recommend the model of the p-liner Preussen.  It was made by the shipyard that built the original ship, as far as I know. 


File:Deutsches Museum - Fünfmast-Vollschiff Preußen (Modell).JPG – Wikimedia Commons


Angebot - Deutsches Museum (deutsches-museum.de)


Fünfmast-Vollschiff / Five-mast full-rigged ship »Preußen«… | Flickr



3. The same can be said of the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg. An interesting model on display is the Elizabethan warship "Bull", because these flat built galleass like ships were very rarely (if ever) built as models. The builder was Wolfram zu Mondfeld and he tried to reconstruct a model based on Matthew Baker's drawings from "Fragments of ancient English shipwrightry". 


Ship model English galleon BULL of 1546 (modelships.de)



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FDR Model’s-  FDR was an enthusiastic sailor, and ship model collector throughout his life.  His maritime life is covered in the book, Sailor in the White House by Robert Cross.


In 2004 my wife and I made a trip up the Hudson Valley, stopping at FDR’s Presidential Library at Hyde Park.  In the entrance library there is a huge model of a Ship-Of-The-Line.  According to the museum, the Queen of Holland told FDR that if he won WWII she would send him the best model that she could find.  Of course FDR died before the war ended so who knows?  While visiting the library, I asked a docent about the rest of his models and learned that his collection numbered about 200 models and that they were presently being restored.  I later learned that the restorer is a member of our forum. His pseudonym is Shipmodel.


I revisited the library in 2019 to see his restored model collection.  It is housed in utilitarian looking cabinets in the basement.  Some models are quite hard to see.  The models vary in quality.  Many are rather simple WWII era warship models.  Rigged sailing ship models are typical of those built in the 1930’s. Some models are considered significant because of their historic provenance instead of their accuracy or quality.  I do not believe that his entire collection is on display.


Several models that I particularly liked, are scattered throughout other library displays;  a very nice small scale model of a WWII Escort CarrIer and two models of early Higgins Landing Craft, one a LCPL.




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Hello Sam - you have a great fanbase on this forum (as you may have discerned...!).  


I love your work - In The Hour of VICTORY is one of my very favorites.  You had me hooked after I consumed the Fighting Temeraire...


Please add the Peabody Essex museum in Salem Massachussets to your list.  Some terrific stuff there including some Donald McNarry efforts.  Of particular note is the famous "Hull" model of the USF Constitution built and presented by the crew to her victorious captain after the Guerriere fight. Captain Hull donated the model to the Essex museum collection sometime after the War of 1812 and it may be the most important extant artifact concerning the wartime configuration of Old Ironsides.



Evan Gale


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