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Bottled Ship Builder

HELP! Need to Identfiy this model

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Hello All


My Name is Greg and I am a student of the Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management program at Fleming College in Ontario Canada. For a research project we were given recent acquisitions from our local museum to research and identify. Having a hard time pulling up anything for this model I've dubbed "the beatrice"...


Anyone seen anything like this before? Or is this a one of a kind, handmade ship...


Thanks in advance for any responses, it is truly greatly appreciated!




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I love these sort of puzzles.There is a spike bowsrite this means the bowsprit is in one piece and has no jibboom and that helps to date the ship to the late 19th early 20th century. She has topsails that are single sails, not split topsals and this tells me she isnt from the very end of the sailing ship era when topsails were devided into two seperate sails. If I had to guess I would say the ship she is based on has a metal hull and was built before the turn of the century.

But this is a ship in a bottle and the artist who made it may have ommited a jobboom because it would be too much trouble. The same could be said for the topsails too. Arguments could be made that the triangular headsails lead to the foremast in a way that suggests those ARE split topsails, they are just too high up the mast to be very correct.

But none of the above will give you a date that is certain, because the artist still could have built this in the 1960's.

For more certainty I would look at the botle itself. I don't know a lot about bottle history but certainly the introduction of the metal screw cap must be a known date? The cap in the photo looks very prestine. The bottle itslef looks thick in a way that suggests older bottles, but the screw cap is telling me its from the second half of the 20th century.

Edited by JerseyCity Frankie
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It is a BARK rigged ship - perhaps representing one from the mid-to-late 19th century at the earliest..  The model appears to be rather roughly done - no deck furniture; backstays but no shrouds for the masts;  masts, yards, and bowsprit seriously out of scale (too big/bulky); bowsprit seems to be steeved up a bit too much; no billet or figurehead and no dolphin striker; over-sized trailboard carries ship name.  British flag is a sign that you may be able to get information about the ship from Lloyds of London.  Take a close look at the bottle - origins may be traceable via writing molded into the bottom, back and/or neck of the bottle.  Also check the bottle cap for printing and/or embossing.  The type of bottle cap indicates that the the bottle is of recent origin - post 1950-ish which may hint at a time frame for construction of the model.  Also, examine the blue paper used to create the sky background - look for handwriting, printing and/or watermarks.


A quick Google search turned up:  "Large numbers of barks were employed in carrying wheat from Australia to England before World War I; and in 1926 the bark Beatrice sailed from Fremantle, Western Australia, to London in 86 days."



I also found:   Logbook of Bark Beatrice Havener, published in 1877[?]    https://books.google.com/books/about/Logbook_of_Bark_Beatrice_Havener.html?id=DHQEaAEACAAJ

See the  worldcat.org  entry at    http://www.worldcat.org/title/logbook-of-bark-beatrice-havener-1877-1888/oclc/701472557

where it is noted that  "The materials described in this catalog record are located in the collections of Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, Me"  which implies that the Beatrice Havener may have been an American ship which may be included in the American Lloyds Register which can be searched on-line at   http://library.mysticseaport.org/initiative/ShipRegister.cfm?BibID=237571883


And then there was the January 26 1895 report that   "BARK BEATRICE ASHORE NEAR SANDY HOOK; The Crew of Eight Rescued by the Life Savers"



And another report in   https://books.google.com/books?id=s1xHAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA166&lpg=PA166&dq="bark+Beatrice"


Yet another report in    https://books.google.com/books?id=THMyAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA583&lpg=PA583&dq="bark+Beatrice"


And these mentions —

Daily Alta California, Volume 34, Number 11768, 12 July 1882, Page 4, Col. 4
"Sailed [from Yokohama] June 13, bark Beatrice Havener, [for] Portland"


Daily Alta California, Volume 1, Number 112, 9 May 1850, Page 3, Col. 2
[Arrived San Francisco May 8th] Bark Beatrice, - 28 ds fm Mazatlan



BOTTOM LINE:  There is a fair amount of info to be had (and sorted out) that may pertain to your bottled ship model.


Happy hunting and sorting !

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I would agree with Mike a 3 masted Bark carrying a lower yard, top sail yard, top gallant yard, and a royal if I had to guess. Hard to know to be 100% sure as I can't see the position of the lower cap or the top mast cap from the photograph. I am struggling with the size of the lower sail in proportion to the top sail however it's still a nice piece of art all the same.

Any idea on how old the model is?

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I agree with all of these posts. At best, this is a representation (rather than an accurate model) of a barque named Beatrice. The inaccuracies and short-cuts taken by the builder make it difficult or near impossible to determine which Beatrice this is.


I suspect that the best way to make a guess at when this was made would be by researching the bottle. The metal screw cap is likely your best hint at the earliest date this could have been made.


The backdrop and harbor/shoreline background was more popular among European builders than American but is by no means definitive. Look for a label placed under the sea or a note on the backside of the backdrop. Is there a display stand to go with this SiB? Display stands can easily get separated from a bottle and subsequently lost. It might be worthwhile to visit the museum to follow up on this.


Do you have the SiB itself or just the photo to work with?

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Very neat little ship. Can't say a lot more then what's been said. I will add one thing. Greg Alvey of www.folkartinbottles.com is a collector of bottle art. My understanding is he has a collection of over 200 ships in bottles. He knows a lot about how to guestimate the age of ships in bottles. You might look up his contact information on his website and see if he can give you some information.

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Agree with Dave that the artist used the European style presentation.  It is similar to the Prisoners of War work of WWI & II.  Canada had several POW camps during those wars.  To add to Frankie's comment about the bottle, I suspect a medicine or condiment type rather than a liquor bottle. Screw cap bottles started around the 1890's and took off in manufacturing after WWI.

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