Extremely rare shadow box model depicting the launching of the ship William. The name William appears on the Trailboard just aft of the figurehead of a gentleman. In the typical launching fashion, there is an American flag at the end of the bow sprit and another flying off the stern with three partial masts are set into the hull and the flag of the Black Ball Line is flying from the foremast. A red flag with a white ball is flying from the main mast and four signal flags which are hung in a row from the rear mast signifying the 'call letters' Q,M,P,H.
The William's hull is black with white painted false gunports. The bottom paint has a copper color. The hull is mounted on a detailed model of the launching ways which is a device design to lower a new vessel into the water. The background of the diorama has a painted background which shows on the right what is probably the MacKay shipyard in East Boston. To the left of the vessel is an American ship and other sailing vessels. In the right side of the foreground is a pile of logs and to the left a carved and painted sea with a small model of a sloop.
This is the only model we have ever examined which shows the subject of a ship launching. (SM-653)
Condition: The diorama has a mellow patina and is in excellent condition.
Note: The Black Ball Line was founded in 1852 by James Baines and Thomas MacKay as a packet service to Australia at the time of the gold rush. Other services ran to China and New Zealand. The line thrived until 1866.
Dimensions: Width 34 1/4, Height 21 1/2', Debth 5 1/2'