Extremely rare and important model of a three masted bark by Boucher Mfg. Co. New York, circa 1900. The model is constructed with unabbreviated detail. The model has plank-on-frame construction and even the interior of the hull is complete including ribs, beams and pillars. The planks are attached to the ribs with trummels (tree nails). The hull is copper plated below the water line. There are hundreds of individual sheets of copper which are hand fastened with thousands of small copper nails. The hull is painted flat black up to the deck height and semi-gloss black on the exterior bulwarks. The deck is individually planked and is hand fastened to the lateral deck beams. There is a raised foredeck with beautifully formed chalks and bollards. The windlass is mounted on the foredeck and is carved with great detail. There are metal cogs along the base of the windlass. The maindeck has an extremely well detailed anchor windlass with turned metal gears and beautifully constructed metal pump handles. There are three deckhouses all with operating doors and hatches. Mounted to the deck is an outstanding life boat. Near the stern there are two pairs of davits. The port side davits are holding a beautiful carved and painted dory. The starboard davits are rigged as though a launch has just been lowered. Leading to the launch is an exceptionally well detailed gangway which leads up to a pair of gangway boards. The ship wheel and rudder system is constructed like the real ship and is working. Other features such as the port and starboard lights, water pump, pinrails, ovens, water buckets, etc. are of exceptional detail. The anchors have outstanding detail as do the cats which support them. The starboard anchor has actually center link anchor chain. The bowsprit, yardarms, stunsail booms and gaff are of the same quality as the hull. The spars appear to be spruce and have a natural wood and black painted finish. The standing rigging is mostly made of wire, of various thicknesses. The running rigging is made from line and wire. There are twenty-four (24) hand sewn canvas sails, many of which are trimmed with leather and are mounted with metal hardware. Some of the sails have reef lines. We never have examined a model with finer detail in the sails and rigging. The model has a beautifully carved and polychromed figurehead in the form of a bearded male figure whose right arm is extended forward. There is a beautiful stern decoration with a star in the center.
The model is mounted on its original base which has a sand finish, typical of Bouchers' models of the period. The model is mounted on a complex wedge and railway system. The model also retains its original exhibition base.
Note: H.E. Boucher & Co. was one of the primary model builders for the New York Yacht Club. The company started in New York as a naval architectural firm and by the turn-of-the-century, developed into one of the premier model building companies of the world. They employed over 100 people at the peak of their business and were only to be rivaled by Bassett & Lowke of the United Kingdom in size, quality and quantity of production. In addition to the New York Yacht Club, they built models for many institutions and yacht clubs, including the Smithsonian Institute.
Reference: McLanathan, Richard B. K., "Ship Models", Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1957, p.40 & 41. Illustrated on these pages are photographs of another Boucher model of a square rigged vessel. This model is also of outstanding quality and is rigged with sails.
Provenance: The model was presented to the New York Yacht Club by Lloyd Phoenix Esq. in 1906. Lord Phoenix (1841-1926) was a lieutenant in the US Navy and served during the Civil War. He owned three yachts all named Intrepid in which he sailed over hundred thousand miles. In 1902, he purchased the three masted schooner Philadelphia in which he sailed to the Caribbean and recovered for the Navy the logbooks and bell of the Kearsage.
He became a member of the New York Yacht Club in 1866. He was rear commodore in 1867. At the Naval Academy in Annapolis, there is an important yachting trophy in his name. Besides this model, Llyod Phoenix also gave the New York Yacht Club a fine prisoner-of-war bone model which is presently on view in the library at the 44th Street clubhouse.
The model was exhibited at the New York Yacht Club between 1906 and circa 1930 when it was loaned to the Mystic Seaport Museum, where it was exhibited for many years. It was deaccessioned from the New York Yacht Club in 1997.
Condition: The hull, deck, spars, rigging and sails are in outstanding unrestored condition. The model has always been under glass and not exposed to sunlight. The sand base has been repainted. On March 22, 1997 the model was brought to Cape Cod Hospital for endoscopic examination by the radiologist, Dr. John Osmond. The endoscope had a bright light which enabled one to see all the detail inside the hull.
Dimensions: Length 87 inches; Width 21 3/8 inches; Height 57 1/2 inches.