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Date: 1960-1979
Overall: 25 x 15 x 130 mm, 0.08 kg
Medium: Metal, paint.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Peter Collins
Object Name: Waterline ship miniature
Object No: 00039485

User Terms

    A waterline model of the "Java class" cruiser JAVA built for the Royal Netherlands Navy in the early 1920s.
    SignificanceDating from the 1950s to 1970s, these waterline models are historically significant for their association with a
    period in which ship model production and collection was highly prolific.
    HistoryThis "Java class" war ship was a light cruiser ordered by the Royal Netherlands Navy during the First World War. Initially three were ordered, but because of the length of time it took to deliver the first two, the order for the third was cancelled.
    Although its design was German (by Krupp's 'Germania Wharf' in Kiel) the two cruisers were built in Vlissingen and in Amsterdam by, respectively, 'Koninklijke Maatschappij de Schelde' and the 'Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij'. The design was prompted by the need to counter the capability of the Japanese "Chikuma class" light cruisers in East Asia.

    Because of the unusually long delivery time -caused by protracted strikes, but primarily by unavailability of parts as well as rapid improvements in warship design and technology during the 1st World War- both vessels were more or less obsolete by the time they were commissioned. For instance, their guns were still operated from behind shields, even though gun turrets were by then no longer a novelty! Moreover, six out of ten guns carried were arranged to port and starboard in the superstructure; consequently only seven guns could be fired as a broadside.

    Ships built for the Royal Netherlands navy in this class were:
    Hr. Ms. JAVA (1925 - 1942) and Hr. Ms. SUMATRA (1926 - 1944) The order for a third ship, Hr Ms. CELEBES, slight larger and with accommodation for a squadron commodore and his staff, was cancelled in 1920.

    The cruisers were to have been replaced by "Concord class" cruisers, but due to the Second World War this never came to fruition.

    Both "Java class" cruisers did not survive the war. Hr Ms JAVA was sunk during the Battle of the Java Sea, while Hr Ms SUMATRA was stripped and scuttled as part of a makeshift breakwater established along the Normandy beaches in June 1944.
    The torpedo that sank the JAVA was fired by the Japanese destroyer NACHI; 491 of the JAVA's 512 crew did not survive.

    Waterline models give the impression of a ship floating in its natural element by "omitting the underwater part of the ship during construction from a point equivalent to where the water level would reach if thevessel were floating at her normal trim". 1:1200scale models are improved versions of the wooden identification models used by Allied forces for recognition training and battle simulation during the two World Wars.
    Die cast metal waterline models are ideal for collectors or for naval hobbyists, who use them for fighting naval battles in table top war gaming. Created by Fred T. Jane around 1904, the war game was popular in Germany and Britain, but languished after World War II as companies were put out of business by the war and Germans focused on the rebuilding of their country. The revival of the German economy in the 1950s saw a rebirth in the hobby market, and the inauguration of companies such as Hansa in the late 1950s and Mercator and Neptun/Navis in the 1960s, the latter still the largest producer of quality water line models.

    Miniature waterline models are valued by collectors for their age, rarity, quality,
    and for the particular vessels they represent. The aesthetic significance of these waterline models is evident in their quality craftsmanship - the models, excluding masts and posts, have been cast as a single entity, with hand painted detailing. These miniature models accurately replicate full - sized ocean - going merchant and naval vessels. The models convey charm, evidence of maritime skill and knowledge, and fine attention to detail, making them highly valuable and collectible.

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