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A LILLIPUTIAN SHIPYARD The model in the foreground is from the collection of the late Stanford White. The upper middleground gives
a stern view of a model of the Santa Maria, from the collection of Alexander W. Drake.
cise, are all put on with the most pains- the navy-yard at Boston, too, there was a taking care; and above the galleries at the model made of beef-bones by a British after end sits a modeled figure of a wo- sailor in prison in 1812—the miniature man, possibly a British Venus risen high vessel even planked with bones—which above the waves. An ornamental rudder- had excited his interest. Subsequently, on head complements the figurehead of the a trip to Paris, he went through the Musée lion, which holds a shield under the little de Marine, in the Louvre, and under the spritsail-mast far away forward. An elabo- spell of the tall rows of models of all rate group in plastic work, embodying times, strung high upon those walls, his Neptune and some of his suite, occu- future recreation was fixed.
He came pies a lunette-shaped space across the home and set to work to make a model. stern just below the taffrail. The three The British second-rater already delanterns, minutely ornamented, which scribed is a recent production of Mr. characterized the ships of the day, are Wiles. His first work on his return from all here, projecting
Paris was the model above and
of an American abaft the stern, as
twenty-gun brig of they did of old.
the 1812 type, Here, too, on both
which is shown decks, port
in the illustration shutters which, al
with all sail set. though very small,
This model is two screen ports through
feet long, and repwhich a good-sized
resents a one-hunlead-pencil could
dred-foot brig; but scarcely pass.
it is not made to The endless pains
scale, as he had required in the
then only pictures making of such an
to go by, and no intricate example of
working-plans to the model-maker's
guide him. Yet workmanship leads
the model is good, often to the ques
and the rigging tion, how a paint
correct; it was perer of portraits came
fected on later to turn his hand MODEL OF A VENETIAN FISHERMAN'S information. But to such a task.
the hull would not The truth is that
satisfy him now. Mr. Wiles really fell upon his hobby, and Model collectors progress, like the colhe rides it for recreation. His diversion lectors of paintings and porcelains, with had been music, particularly playing the the continued cultivation of the critical violin, which was his companion in the eye. One of the points of pride with hours when there was no light for the the model-collector who makes his own brush. But he found, as his duties as a models is in the perfection of the hull painter became more arduous, that the model. It is a keen aggravation to the violin was no longer a recreation: it was collector whose nautical sympathies are another art, and all arts are exacting mis- delicate to find many of his purchases of tresses. So for relief he turned his mind models wanting in the proper proportions once more to ships and the sea, which had of the lower hull. For most models are fascinated him years before.
made by sailors; and odd as it may seem, As a boy he had sought the water-front your sailorman, critical and exacting as he of Manhattan to study and admire the will be in all things about his decks and square-riggers that came thither more often rigging, either does not understand or canthen than they do to-day, and he had gone not reproduce the hull below the watermany times to the Brooklyn navy-yard to line. There is, for instance, in the musee the Government's models, which have seum at Salem, Massachusetts, a model of since been transferred to Annapolis. In the old Ohio, a two-decker, which was
Drawn by W. Taber.
Drawn by Alfred Brennan. Owned by Thomas Shields Clarke
made by a sailor. To the fastidious model- scended to tell him that there were none: lover it is a work of loveliness above the they were “all blocks on shipboard." water-line, but carries contradiction with Although his penchant is for models of it, like the skeleton at the feast, because sailing-ships only, and he cares nothing it has not hull enough to float a toy-boat. for those of steam-vessels, Mr. Wiles was
Mr. Wiles's brig of 1812 has three very glad to pick up, as one of his collecsmall boats, two of them carried outboard. tion, a neglected model of one of our pubThere is a real compass, which works, in lic ships of the time when builders had not her miniature binnacle, and there is a real yet confidence enough in steam-power to wheel just abaft it. The wooden guns pro- do away entirely with sails. He was wanjecting from her ports were carved out bydering through the Washington navy-yard hand, as were the masts and all the rest of when he fell into conversation with an old the ship. She looks so businesslike, it seems sailor who had obtained an unimportant as though she should be spoken of as a ship post as an attendant in the yard. The old rather than as a model. That Mr. Wiles tar, in discussing models, said, in response was three years in making her will not to a question whether he knew where any seem a surprising statement when it is told might be obtained, that he had at his home that there are in her rigging more than one which he had rescued from an unfive hundred blocks of various kinds. To timely and undignified end, not because he see these half a thousand blocks rigged on wanted the model, but because, as a genuthis two-foot model is to recall with some ine old son of the sea, he could not stand vividness the old sailor's joke on the land- idly by and endure its ignominy. lubber, whom the tar asked to figure out It had been made by some painstaking how many pulleys there were on his ship. enthusiast, but had passed into careless And when the landsman had computed hands, and at last had been given to some awhile, the shell-back, grinning, conde- of the officers' children to play with . As
they were battering it idly to pieces about model of her that is exact even to the the yard, our sailorman determined to ap- double skin and ribs. The model passed propriate it, that it might at least be held at length to a Sixth Avenue fish-store, in honor by a real lover of the sea. He where at first it was an object of pride. had not repaired it, but had taken it to his But, alas! the carefully stitched sails behome. He said that it was, he thought, a came soiled, and the tidy fishmonger model of Admiral Farragut's famous old pitched them away and replaced them with Hartford. At his noon-hour he went home home-made canvases — Beau Brummel atand fetched it, and it now rests where it tired by a seamstress! will receive the care it deserves. Mr. But Mr. Wiles got her, and she is a Wiles thinks it is not a model of the Hart- beauty. She is seven feet long from the ford, but rather of one of the general type tip of the jib-boom to the end of the mainof American steam frigates of about 1861, boom. She is seventeen and one half inches such as was the Merrimac before she was in beam, has a depth of hold of five inches, made into an ironclad. He has fixed up and the maintopmast rises four feet, six the model, which has most of its standing inches above the deck. She has a notably rigging up, but no sails.
fine stern to slip down the waves; her There is another model with a curious cabin is fitted with a round seat; she has lineage in the Wiles collection. It is that hatches, a hold; and a veritable scuttleof an old oyster schooner which used to butt, or water-barrel, rests in its chocks on ply from New York, and is about as near the deck. perfect as the model-collector is likely to Several model-collectors had been lying find. The schooner was the Hausman, low for a model which for years was held and her owner was so proud of her in the at a high price by an international dealer old time that he had the builder make a of New York. Not long ago it came un
Drawn by Alfred Brennan, Built by Irving R. Wiles
MODEL OF A SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY BRITISH SHIP-OF-THE-LINE
der the hammer at a sale. The collectors head is a lion, which wears a crown. The walked quietly and unobtrusively into the mainstay is looped about the mast by a gallery and seated themselves where they slip-knot, which is moused to keep it from would not attract attention. For fear of slipping. An old-fashioned windlass sweeps meeting foes, they did not look for friends, all the way athwartships just abaft the and the bidding went quietly on. The foremast, and above the center of it is an model is now in the Wiles collection, and arched belfry. a curious one it is. It is a model of a In The Village Belle, a type of the Dutch East-Indiaman of the seventeenth Long Island scalloper, a shallow, broad, century, though it reached this country by centerboard sloop for working in bay way of Germany. It is fitted for guns, as waters, Mr. Wiles has perhaps made his were all the big merchantmen of the time, most accurate and finished work. She is and it has three decks, although it is not fifteen inches long, and even in her chocks technically a “three-decker.” It is so care- seems as though resting in the water, so fully made that the inner skin may be seen. perfect are her lines in entrance and run. The model is very old, but the upper spars It is a peculiarity of Mr. Wiles that he of the full-rigged ship of the time are all tries to make the models which he constanding.
structs look as the ships or boats actually The planking has been carefully, but did or do when performing their natural clumsily done, the clumsy work there con- functions on the seas. In this scalloper, one trasting strangely with the delicate lad- can not overlook the spring of the bowders, or companionways, that lead from sprit, the topmast pitched forward, the deck to deck. The craft has odd, orna- boom bent up at the end, as booms get in mental wales, and a similar top-timber- working-boats from being supported at the line, and her quarter-galleries are done in end by the topping-lift. And forward is the yellow, red, gold, and black. The figure- club, or false jib-boom, which working