Ship models, Cargo vessels

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Marco Polo (1851); Passenger/cargo vessel; Ship

Ship models

Object connections:

Collection Ship models, Cargo vessels
User collections Re·Think Migration by marre986
Gallery locationNot on display
VesselsMarco Polo 1851

Object details:

Object ID SLR0067
Description Scale: 1:96. A contemporary full hull model of the three-masted ship ‘Marco Polo’ (1851), fully rigged and mounted on its original wooden baseboard. Built by J. and T. Smith of New Brunswick in 1851, the ‘Marco Polo’ measured 188 feet in length by 40 feet in the beam and had a tonnage of 1567 gross. It was one of the largest ships of her day in the Australian trade and was to shorten the voyage time from Britain to Australia to under 70 days. On her arrival at Liverpool in 1852 carrying a cargo of cotton, she was purchased by James Baines of the famous Black Ball Line. For the next two voyages, it was under the command of the hard driving J. N. ‘Bully’ Forbes of Aberdeen who achieved some remarkable passage times. On its first voyage from Liverpool to Australia, it was commissioned by the Government Emigration Commissioners and carried 930 passengers. The accommodation on board was considered to a be a vast improvement than on previous ships with special attention paid to the ventilation as well carrying two surgeons to cover medical requirements. As a result of this, only two passengers died on the voyage, one from natural causes, which was a remarkable achievement for this time. The ‘Marco Polo’ continued in the Australian trade for some years under several owners, and in its latter years, it was employed in the timber trade between Quebec and Europe. In 1883, it was wrecked on Cape Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, and was sold with its cargo of deals (wood in plank form) on board for £600.
Date made circa 1851?

Artist/Maker Frederick Holmes, Frederick
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Materials wood; organic: cotton; organic: fabric; metal: brass; metal; paint; coating: varnish; coating: gilt
Measurements Overall model: 568 x 841 x 224 mm; Base: 78 x 860 x 164 mm
  • Marco Polo (1851); Passenger/cargo vessel; Ship (SLR0067)
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