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Wooden half block ship model built on the Brisbane River

Date: early 20th century
Overall: Height: 153 mm, width: 377 mm, depth: 60 mm
Medium: Wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Half block model
Object No: 00049040

User Terms

    A half block model built on the Brisbane River, mounted on wood featuring a beveled edge border with lighter coloured wood at each corner and eyelets allowing it to be hung. When this model was unpacked a handwritten note reading DAINA was found.
    SignificanceThis item comes from the eclectic and extensive maritime collection of Herbert Edward (Bert) Young. Before a ship was built a half model such as this was created as a means of planning a vessel's design and to demonstrate the vessel's dimensions to clients and ship builders. These skilfully crafted models are replicas of their full scale counterparts and provide important information relating to the design and build of individual vessels.
    HistoryA shipbuilder's block model was a solid basic model, generally with a minimum of fittings, rigging and decoration. A half block model is essentially the same, however only showing one side of a ship. Half block models are easier to make and only require half the labour and materials of a full hull model. Half models are also easier to display as they can be hung after their role as a builder's guide has been fulfilled. By the late 19th century painting or varnishing these models and presenting them to shipowners had become common practice. In the 1880s half models began to evolve to be more decorative, and mirror-backed half models began to appear whereby the addition of a reflective backing provided the illusion of a full-hull model.

    Herbert Edward (Bert) Young assembled an extensive collection of maritime objects and in the late 1960s established a private museum, Young's Maritime Museum, from his home in Forestville Sydney. Young's varied collection contains a number of important items such as a rare octant, a fog horn and a huge pair of ship's wheels. Several important works of art are also amongst the collection including a series by the Newcastle maritime historian and artist Terry Callen. Young's Maritime Museum was unfortunately short-lived and in 1972, Mr Young presented his collection to the Department of Shipping and Transport to hold for incorporation into a future national maritime museum. The collection was later transferred to the Australian National Maritime Museum in 1987.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Half block model built on the Brisbane River

    Collection title: Herbert Young Collection

    Web title: Wooden half block ship model built on the Brisbane River

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