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Model stand for a whaling longboat

Date: 1990s
Dimensions:
Overall: 475 x 1115 x 360 mm, 6.2 kg
Medium: Wood, metal, plastic, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Models
Object Name: Model stand
Object No: 00029483
Place Manufactured:Viña del Mar

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    Description
    This model stand was made to resemble the bulwark of an American whaleship. It consists of two large fixed davits which anchor a whaling longboat model. It was made by the Vallejo Gallery, Chile in the 1990s.
    SignificanceThis model stand is important in displaying a nineteenth century American whaling vessel.
    HistoryWhaling played an essential part in 19th century life. Industry and households depended on whale products for which there was no substitute. Whale oil was used for lighting and lubrication until 1860 when kerosene and petroleum started to gain popularity. The pure clean oil from sperm whales was a superior source of lighting and the finest candles were made from the whale's wax-like spermaceti. Light and flexible, baleen - the bristle-fringed plates found in the jaws of baleen whales - had many uses in objects which today would be made out of plastic.

    American whaling centred on the north-east coastal town of New Bedford, a booming industry in the 19th century with hundreds of ships regularly heading out to the Pacific Ocean. Australian whaling stations included the settlement at Twofold Bay, NSW which was established by entrepreneur Benjamin Boyd in 1844. In this region and in parts of North America whalers noted that pods of Killer whales regularly helped them in their hunts by herding migrating whales into bays and keeping the animals on the surface, making it easier for the hunters to kill the trapped whales. The Killer whales were often awarded the prize of the killed whales tongue and lips.

    Whaling was a dangerous activity and many boats were known to have been destroyed during hunts. In 1820, the ship ESSEX was lost after it was rammed by a whale in the Pacific Ocean. Only eight of its' twenty crew survived. Large whaling ships and small boats were vulnerable to defensive whales lashing their tails or pushing their bodies into the vessels.
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