Lot 260 (Maritime and Scientific Models, Instruments & Art ('Hesperus'), 30th April 2019)
Sold for £37,000
Model is in exceptionally fine original condition. The only flaws discovered are two pieces of sprung stringing and a loose window chain to the stern.
A FINE AND HIGHLY ORIGINAL 1:48 SCALE BUILDER'S MODEL FOR THE LINER S.S. MEXICO, BUILT FOR THE CIA. MEXICANA TRASATLÂNTICA BY ROBERT NAPIER & SONS, GLASGOW, 1884
the 104in. hull carved from laminated pine with Plimsoll marks, oxidised brass anchors with stocks and studded chain, hinged port lids with raising chains, oxidised brass propeller with bolted blades, and finely carved decorative boxwood stern mouldings incorporating company name, the lined boxwood and white decks complete with silvered, gilt and oxidised metal fittings including bitts, bollards, anchor winch, capstan, wood capped and metal deck rails with chains over, wash screen, carved wooden ventilators, coal chute covers, companionways, spare anchors, raised superstructure with open bridge with helm, binnacle, telegraphs, lamps, fire buckets, panelled passenger accommodation, twin raked funnels with stays, safety valve extension pipes and whistle, covered lifeboats in davits, one fully-fitted with cross boards, thwarts and oars, engine room lights, two cranes with weighted chain hooks, a pair of signalling cannons mounted amidships with one further, possibly for life-lines, aft, raked masts the fore and main with yards, standing and running rigging with blocks and tackle, cleats and belaying pins, and many other fine details, mounted on launching blocks within original glazed wooden case with twin builder's plates, mounted on table stand with six turned legs. Overall measurements -- 78 x 116 x 27½in. (198 x 295 x 70cm.); Table -- 29in. (74cm.) high; together with a letter from William Beardmore to J.M. Bowker, dated 3rd September 1925 confirming the model's availability for sale from their premises at £50.
The last of three near-identical sisters all built by Robert Napier & Sons Ltd for the Compãnia Mexicana Trasatlántica in 1883-4, they registered 4,142 tons, measured 400ft with 44ft beam and were powered by a three-cylinder compound engine driving a single screw which could develop 14 knots. Well appointed within for her day, her 98 First Class passengers travelled in a manner that rivalled a modern Cunarder and she had further accommodation for 108 Second and 784 Third Class. Entering service in May 1884 on a route from Vera Cruz to Liverpool via Bermuda, the venture proved too ambitious and by 1887 with mounting losses the Mexico, along with her sisters Oaxaca and Tamaulipas were listed for sale by receivers in Liverpool where all three were sold to the Italian line La Veloce Linea di Navigazione Italiane a Vapore ("The Fast Italian Steam Navigation Line") and Mexico, now re-named Duchessa di Genova, had her funnels painted buff with a red star and successfully plied a route between Genoa and South America until 1901 when she was transferred to the New York run, and was broken up in Genoa in December 1905. In 1889, however, she was one of several ships caught up in what became known as the 'Dresden Affair' - named after the eponymous Norddeutscher Lloyd liner which arrived in Buenos Aires with 1,772 mostly Irish migrants who had been encouraged with assisted travel to emigrate to South America. Her arrival on the 15th February unfortunately coincided with the arrival of the Duchessa di Genova carrying a further 1,000 Italian migrants, and several other smaller steam ships also packed with migrants. With no facilities or accommodation in town, the overwhelmed local authorities were forced to deny disembarkation to the ships and passengers aboard began to develop sickness, malnourishment and dehydration. Suffering was intense and casualities mounted to the extent that immigration programmes were suspended overnight and questions were raised in the House of Commons; many premature deaths were assigned to this incident over the next few years.
This lot is available for viewing at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Imperial Road - please see map for details
Auction: Maritime and Scientific Models, Instruments & Art ('Hesperus'), 30th April 2019
Pictures and Naval - 1-61
Sailor Art - 65-97
Shipwreck and East India Co. - 100-125
Collectables inc. Rowing, Liner and Fittings - 128-167
Ship Models - 250-287
Saturday, 27th April
(12noon - 5pm)
Sunday, 28th April
(12noon - 5pm)
Monday, 29th April
(10am - 5pm)
Tuesday, 30th April
(10am - 11am (limited view only))