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Lot 119 (Maritime and Scientific Models, Instruments & Art (Venerable), 24th November 2020)

Ø A RARE 1:24 SCALE EAST INDIA COMPANY BUILDER'S HALF MODEL FOR THE 16-GUN BRIG 'TERNATE', BUILT FOR THE BOMBAY MARINE BY BOMBAY DOCKYARD, CIRCA 1801

Sold for £9,500


Condition report

fine overall condition with some old losses including part of the cathead, deadeyes

We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of this property. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Charles Miller Ltd is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD “AS IS” IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.

 

Ø A RARE 1:24 SCALE EAST INDIA COMPANY BUILDER'S HALF MODEL FOR THE 16-GUN BRIG TERNATE, BUILT FOR THE BOMBAY MARINE BY BOMBAY DOCKYARD, CIRCA 1801

the 30in. hull carved from the solid and planked with teak below ebonised wale, ebony gun ports interspersed with satinwood veneers, detailed fully-carved ivory figurehead in the form of a Ternate warrior, scored main deck with fittings including windlass, ship's boat carved from the solid, hatch covers, binnacle housing, deck lights and deck rails, mounted on a wooden backboard with bowsprit piercing edge and heavy brass suspension loops behind -- 10½ x 38½in. (26.5 x 98cm.)

When the splendid 56-gun frigate Marquis Cornwallis, named for the Governor-General, was launched at Bombay in 1800, she attracted a great deal of attention and resulted in the first recognition of the Bombay Dockyard in the wider history of shipbuilding. Although some ships-of-War had been built there previously, they had all been small fry but this changed rapidly after the turn of the new century and the launch of the new Cornwallis. Almost immediately, in fact, the Bombay Council [of the Honourable East India Company] ordered a new 16-gun brig to be called Ternate. Named for the fearsome legendary warriors of Ternate, in the Maluku Islands [in modern Indonesia], she was built by Jamsetjee Bomanjee (1756-1821), probably the foremost Master Builder in the dockyard at that time. He was a born naval architect and, as the years passed, became so well regarded that in 1813 the Lords of the Admiralty sent him a presentation silver cup valued at £120 to mark their appreciation of the numerous fine ships he had built for the Royal Navy, quite separate from those completed for the Bombay Marine.

Ternate herself was constructed of teak throughout, mounted 16-guns and was measured at 237 tons, although there appears to be some doubt as to her rig. Most sources refer to her as a ‘brig’, but one calls her a ‘sloop’ and a painting of her clearly sporting three masts and titled “The H.C.S. [Hon. Company’s Sloop] Ternate off Mangalore” is reproduced in The Bombay Dockyard and the Wadia Master Builders, by R.A.Wadia, Bombay, 1957, facing p. 242. It is likely therefore that she was officially rated as a ‘brig-sloop’, which would account for the apparent discrepancy.

Like all the vessels of the Bombay Marine during the early 19th century, Ternate was constantly cruising the waters of the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf hunting down pirates or dealing with local rulers attempting to interrupt the East India Company’s trade routes to their own advantage. However, there were two incidents of particular note in which Ternate figured prominently and the first occurred in 1829. On 31st May that year, the British ship Oscar was wrecked on the Jaalan coast [modern Oman] and then boarded by some Beni-Boo-Ali Arabs who plundered her cargo valued at £80,000. Commodore Collinson in Ternate, and accompanied by the schooner Fly, made first for Muscat to rendezvous with three other ships-of-War and, after recovering a portion of the cargo consisting of valuable cashmere shawls there, sailed on to Sohar [Oman] and thence to nearby Khor Jerameh, a known harbour of refuge for local pirate craft. In the event, only a small portion of the remaining cargo was ever recovered as the tribesmen who had taken it had already disappeared into the vastness of the desert. Nevertheless, the very presence of the naval force led by Ternate proved decisive in restoring order to the region, albeit temporarily as was often the case. Three years later, in 1832, the Sheikh of Ejman [modern Ajman, in the United Arab Emirates] committed the “most daring outrages…upon the commerce of Muscat”. Ternate and her consort Tigress were despatched to resolve the situation and it was soon reported that “Entire compliance was yielded…and the boats, money, and jewels, the property of the passengers, were yielded up”. This was just the sort of exploit for which Ternate had been built although, by now, her service career was coming to an end and she is last recorded as being “sold at Public Auction (before 1840)”.

Auction: Maritime and Scientific Models, Instruments & Art (Venerable), 24th November 2020

Mercantile : 1-98

Naval : 101-179

Instruments : 181-295

Printed catalogues available at £20 (+P&P)

Absentee Bidding Form

THIS SALE WILL BE CONDUCTED LIVE ONLINE ONLY

You will not be able to bid live in the room. Absentee bids may be left via the website or using a bid form or you can bid via one of three online platforms. Unfortunately, we cannot offer telephone bidding for this sale

  • UKAuctioneers.com  this service offers a choice of either paying a one-off £3.95 flat fee for the sale and no further charges; or 3% of the hammer price. Charles Miller Ltd will refund successful buyers who bid via the £3.95 flat fee
  • The-Saleroom.com – charges 5% of the hammer price
  • Invaluable.com – charges 3% of the hammer price

 

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