Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ahoy There!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Overcast, raining and cold

Ahoy There!

   I came up with the title of today's fine post as I was opening Blogger, the Google blog product. As you know, I search the oceans looking for antique toys, and sometimes I find them connected to merchants who sell as kinds of fascinating antiques. And so it was with todays' fine  auction company - Boston Harbour Auctions.  If you've ever been to Boston, Massachusetts (USA), you will know when I say that this is one of the best cities in the USA to visit. It's quaint, small enough to walk around, and lots to see. If you ant history and museums and maritime food and fresh sea air, this is it!

    I received a short but nice note from Mr. Larry Lannan giving me permission to go ahead. What I liked about Boston Harbour Auctions is that the auction company has a great auction coming up on November 16, 2014.  There are many interesting items coming to market, but I found beautiful model ships, and a nice model steam engine. These aren't really "toys", but if had these around the house, I'm be looking and even touching to see all the parts that are no longer on today's ships. These are the models that you've read about in every classic book such as Moby Dick by Herman Melville. There are terms to these models that I never heard before, and had to check to see that the spelling was correct (which it was) in 1 example.

I have "fresh water" in my veins, but  enjoy the sea as well. And when it comes to any thing related to the ocean I am fascinated. Whenever you go to any city on the sea or ocean you most likely to find a museum.  The world was discovered by travel on the oceans, and of course civilizations changed as well. 

The diving helmet below was the first item that caught my attention and initiated my e-mail to Larry Lannan of Boston Harbour Auctions. I had added a post on October 13, 2014 in which there was a beautiful model of a diving suit. So when I saw this great helmet from Boston Harbour Auctions, I immediately had to write a post to link the 2 posts to one another.

Below is the link to my previous post:

What's noteworthy is that this diving helmet was made almost 85 years ago in Boston where this Boston Harbour Auctions is located.

I've only seen the occasional diving suit in movies or in museums, but you can't really get close to see or touch them. The excellent photography here illustrates the complexity of the helmet that  was used for diving. Although most of us are in fact familiar with Jacque Cousteau's invention of SCUBA, these type of diving suits and helmets are occasionally still used today.

It's too bad the weight isn't listed, because I'm thinking that you would have had to be in great shape in order to have one of these helmets rest on your head and shoulders!

The model steam engine below would have been used to instruct mechanics on how to repair the "real" engines on a ship of that era. I'm sure that this engine would still work if activated today.

From the 17th-19th centuries in the USA and around the world,these ships were used to sail the world's oceans hunting for whales. Whale blubber (fat tissue) would be boiled down to make oil which was used in lubrication and to light lanterns of the time. Parts of the whale were used for corsets ( to take in the waits of women), and of course there were combs,brushes, and artwork called scrimshaw.

Below is a fine example of an English Launch. It reminds me of the Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn movie - The African Queen. It's a beautiful model,and the steam engine is also well modelled to fit the small boat.

The lantern below is  103 years old, but looks like it was made yesterday. The interesting part about this lantern is that it was similar in design to what one would have found on the Titanic. I would have thought that the liner had in fact electricity at the time. 
Perhaps, these were used "just in case"!

The removal of the background was exceptionally hard, so I left some grey tones in the photo. The photo still looks great. I don't have any room in my house large enough to have this ship but it's exceptional. The shyer size and scale of this model would certainly be a showcase in anyone home or restaurant!

Today, there are large sailing ships such as this where people can go on board and learn how to work with sails and the rope to house or take down the sails on ships. 

I like how the photographer from Boston Harbour Auctions added the wine bottle as a frame of reference to illustrate the scale and size of the items in today's post. I learned a new term "admiralty style" today. The term refers to how the model was build below and exhibited. This style  shows the actual wood timbers of the ship so that you can understand how a ship would be made.

The tugboat below is a more modern vessel. There's no date for the description,but the boat looks like on elf the tugboats that night have been around in the 1930'-1950's. Tugboats were used (and still are) to manoeuvre large ships into harbours where space is confined.

I especially like the bold red colour and the "alligatored finish" that gives this small model  a great textural finish.

I used to make models when I was a child, like many other kids in the 1950's.  However, mine were made from plastic! Model making is still around and looking at today's presentation certainly could easily induce me to take up a new hobby for the winter.  When I was restoring some toys that I purchased on ebay, I would go to a local hobby shop. There I saw lots of balsa wood that was used to make models. I better stop thinking, because for sure my wife would say no, if I decided to take up wood model making for this winter!

Oh well,at least I can daydream!

Thanks for dropping by to visit,
and as always,
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,