Sir Lancelot

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By: Donald McNarry FRSA

British Clipper Ship of 1865
Waterline model built in 1970 to a scale of 16' = 1”
Glazed case of figured English walnut
Inspired by Dunton's lithograph, published in 1867, of the hard-driven clipper under Richard Robinson's command, McNarry's Sir Lancelot tells the story of a glamorous genre: the China tea clipper, once a common sight along London 's Thames River . Their races to bring the first shipment of tea from the Far East and thus not only set the market price but also make rich their owners were the focus of worldwide attention and monetary speculation. Designed also to attract prominent travelers, the clippers provided opulent passenger accommodations: Sir Lancelot 's main deck cabin shows gilded sconces fitted up under its roof and other gilded trimwork as well as the heavy, ornate woodwork and scrolling typical of the Victorian era. Calm waters and the lushness of her graceful volume of sail also reflect Victorian principles of abundance and beauty, yet contrast with her urgent mission of speed. Such “composite” (steel framed and cross-banded and planked-over in wood on the interior) hulls as hers were a design and engineering feat, producing ships elegant in line for optimal speed, yet tremendously strong. One of the longer lived of the British clippers, Sir Lancelot was a near, if not exact, sister ship of the celebrated Ariel launched the year before. Built for James MacCunn of Glasgow , she served as a tea clipper until the 1880s, when she was bought by Viscount Ibrahim of India for trade between India and Mauritius .
Provenance: Model built in 1970; Private Collection, Switzerland
Reference: Ship Models in Miniature, D. McNarry, pp. 146,7; David & Charles, 1975

Model type: Extreme Miniature
Scale: 16' = 1" Scale
Size: 25 1/4" x 11 1/4" x 15 1/8"
Code: EXM 2411

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