Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Model sailing ship DAVID made by Eric Jehan with base

Date: 1930s-1980s
Overall: 500 x 710 x 180 mm, 2978 g
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Jean Jehan
Object Name: Model
Object No: V00050772

User Terms

    This model sailing ship was made by Eric Jehan, who migrated from Guernsey to Australia on the Orient liner ORSOVA in 1928.
    SignificanceEric Jehan had a great love of ships and the sea and began building model boats out of scrap tin during the Depression, based on vessels he had observed in Guernsey and Sydney. The models are rough and rustic but functional – they were raced in rivers and bathtubs in southern Sydney, reflecting a young British migrant’s ingenuity and ‘making do’ during the Depression. Named for members of Eric’s family, they represent an intimate family history, in contrast to the finely crafted but ultimately anonymous precision models made by professional model makers. In the words of Eric’s son David, they ‘represent the innovation of a small boy from a poor family making his own fun and following his passion.’
    HistoryEric Jehan (1917-1994) was born in Torteval, Guernsey, Channel Islands, on 26 April 1917, the youngest son of Thomas and Emily Jehan (nee Le Page). Their eldest son Clifford was born on 18 September 1913.

    When Eric was 11, the family migrated from Guernsey to Australia on RMS ORSOVA, departing Tilbury, Essex, on 10 December 1927 and arriving in Sydney on 19 January 1928. ORSOVA was built by John Brown & Co for the Orient Line in 1909 and embarked on its maiden voyage from Tilbury to Sydney on 25 June 1909. It had accommodation for 287 first, 126 second and 660 third class passengers. ORSOVA was requisitioned as a troopship during World War I and returned to the Orient Line in 1919. It was broken up in 1936.

    The Jehan family lived in Camden NSW for a time before settling on a farm property in Minto. Eric commenced work as an apprentice with the NSW Government Railways in 1933. He was in the saw mill at Eveleigh Carriage Works and became a wood machinist. He retired from there in 1981 having served 48 and a half years. Eric married Jean Turner on 4 April 1959 and they had a son, David.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Model sailing ship DAVID made by Eric Jehan with base

    Web title: Model sailing ship DAVID made by Eric Jehan

    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.