It would appear that the “big boys toys” phenomenon extends to Victorian era model boats after the sale of the extremely rare Charlotte Dundas live steam model, Lot 280at the Leonard Joel Classic Furniture, Objects & Collectables auction on June 1st Sunday afternoon. Painstakingly constructed around 1870 the piece was reputedly carved and built from timbers belonging to the original vessel, which was the first practical steamship, designed by William Symington.
With an estimate of $10,000 – $15,000 the model enjoyed extensive pre-sale interest from institutional and private collectors from around the world. International interest was no doubt fuelled by the fact that the model had an extensive exhibition history which saw it travel to international fairs in France, Germany and the UK as a significant exhibit. After prolonged bidding it was finally between an unknown phone-bidder and a room bidder who finally secured the piece for $85,400. Giles Moon, Head of Collectables, commented “the outstanding price achieved reflects the importance of this model. It is a testament to the contribution made by William Symington to the evolution of commercial steam shipping as we know it today.”
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