Extraordinary, Large "Sovereign of the Seas" Clipper Ship Model, circa 1880(1,939 views)
Description: A beautifully made and extraordinarily well detailed, carved wood, sailor-made model of the celebrated clipper ship, "Sovereign of the Seas," the planked and pinned hull with carved figurehead, the two-tier deck fully outfitted with cabins, hatches, wheel, capstan, barrels and lifeboats, the masts fully rigged and flying the American flag, on a custom-made mahogany stand, American, circa 1880. East Boston shipbuilder Donald McKay built the clipper ship "Sovereign of the Seas" on speculation and launched her in 1852. An extreme clipper, she was considered the largest merchant ship of her day and may have been the fastest two-deck clipper ship ever built. Her speed on the New York-Califorinia run led James Baines of Liverpool to charter "Sovereign" for his Black Ball Line, putting her into service in the Australian wool trade. There, she set a new record for passage between London and Melbourne in 65 days, which remained unbroken for 30 years. Her career ended when she ran aground in the Malacca Straits in 1859 and was declared a total loss.
Provenance: Provenance: J. Welles Henderson, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. Indepence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dimensions: Measures: Height on stand: 53". Length: 76". Depth: 14 7/8".
Artist or Maker: Donald McKay
Exhibited: This very fine ship model was deaccessioned by the Independence Seaport Museum because their focus is limited to Philadelphia maritime history.
Literature: Literature: Illustrated in Henderson, J. Welles and Carlisle, Rodney P., "Jack Tar: A Sailor's Life: 1750-1910", pp.58-59.