The models housed in our collection represent vessels dating back to New Amsterdam. Ship models were built by sailors to commemorate their voyages, by shipping lines to advertise their vessels, and by amateur artists seeking to model ships that captured their interest. Most of the models in this collection were made after the 18th century, which includes models of merchant and fishing vessels, working vessels, ocean liners, warships, and other crafts of all sorts and sizes, as well as ship half models, and ships-in-a-bottle.
Among the 2,400 models at the Seaport Museum are Napoleonic-era Prisoner-of-War ship models, builder’s models of ocean liners, and waterline models by renowned builder Charles K. Van Ryper (1891-1964).
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