P & O Clipper Ship
SIMLA Antique Half Model
1863

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PRESENTATION HALF HULL MODEL
P&O Lines Clipper SIMLA Ca 1863 
 

 

Presented is a half display model
of the Clipper Ship “SIMLA” which was possibly made by a crew member. Other than coming from a New
England estate, nothing is known of the models past. The ship was built in 1854 for the P & O Line, as a steam assisted
sailing vessel. The half model has a black hull with gold trim over a varnished bottom. Normally, models of this type
were not meant to come apart. This one is held together by two rectangular wood pegs, from deck to keel, rather than
the round dowels which are standard for a builder’s model.

The 22 inch hull is comprised of 12 lifts with the deck
and garboard being Mahogany and the rest being Teak. The 25 inch backboard is also Teak. The model has a nice patina
of age.

SIMLA had an interesting career and after being pressed into service for the Crimean War she
was returned to the P & O Line in 1858.  In 1875, she was sold to another Line and converted to a four masted sailing
vessel. After a collision in 1884, she sank while under tow.

For a detailed explanation on understanding the various
types of half models, please read
http://landandseacollection.com/id267.html. 

This perspective
of the hull shows her hollow bow section for speed

 
 

 

DIMENSIONS:

The
ship model is  22″ L x 1 1/8″ half beam x 4″ Depth
The backboard is  25″ L x 6″ H
x 1/2″ D
Weight 4 pounds.

CONDITION: The half hull is in original condition and
the finish is in excellent condition with a nice patina of age. There is nothing of consequence which
would distract from the overall appearance of this model. It is held together by two rectangular pegs extending from
the deck to the keel which are quite unique. They can be seen just above the keel behind the bow and forward of the rudder
post in the photo below.

 
            Note the two rectangular
pegs just above the keel

 

Shipbuilder’s presentation models were often used to advertise the business of the
shipbuilder or given to the owner after launch.
 
 

 
                    Back
of  backboard showing aged wood

BRIEF HISTORY: SIMLA” 1854:
SIMLA 2441 gross tons, length 330ft x beam 38ft, clipper bows, one funnel, three masts (rigged for sail) iron hull,
single screw, speed 11 knots. Built 1854 by Tod & McGregor, Glasgow, and immediately requisitioned as a Crimea War transport.
1857 chartered to the European & Australian Royal Mail Co for their Suez – Sydney service for three voyages. 1858 returned
to
P&O line’s Suez – Calcutta route, 1871 sailed home via the Suez Canal and then transferred
to the Southampton – Alexandria service. 1875 sold to Howdens of Glasgow and converted to a four-masted sailing ship. 1884
collided with the CITY OF LUCKNOW, taken in tow but sank with the loss of 20 lives.”


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Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques