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Item Details

Lot #102
DepartmentModels
Sold For$6,000.00(hammer price)
 $7,200.00(price including buyer's premium)
Last UpdatedJuly 14, 2019

Description

EXHIBITION STANDARD DIORAMA OF THE ACTION BETWEEN THE U.S.S. CONSTITUTION AND THE H.M.S. JAVA, DECEMBER 29, 1812 Circa 1975
By Ken Britten (Great Britain, 1928-2013). Each model finely detailed, with built-up hulls, standing and running rigging, sails, flags, numerous figures on deck and in the rigging, etc. Set in a modeled sea with debris and swell authentically depicted. Case height 17.75. Length 28". Width 15".
Provenance:
Parker Gallery, London.
William Blair Ltd, Bethesda, Maryland, 1980.
Purchased from the above by Richard H. Strauss, DDS, and thence by descent to the current owner
.
The U.S.S. Constitution's dominance over her opponents in battle is legendary, and the battle against the H.M.S. Java was no different. The Constitution's accuracy of fire and the greater weight of her broadside put the smaller Java at a disadvantage. Within one hour, after several close encounters involving the rigging of each ship getting entangled, Java's masts collapsed. During this encounter a sharpshooter aloft in Constitution mortally wounded Java's Captain Lambert. Bainbridge used this opportunity to distance Constitution so as to make repairs, however, Java could not clear her fallen masts and rigging and when Constitution returned and took a raking position, Java could not defend herself. This left Lieutenant Chads no choice but to surrender Java. In the battle, Java suffered 22 men killed, including Lambert, and 102 wounded. Constitution lost nine men initially and 57 wounded, including Bainbridge. On New Year's Day 1813, two days after the engagement, Bainbridge gave the order to set Java ablaze and she subsequently blew up."

Condition

Overall excellent condition. Because of the nature of this diorama, depicting the end of a naval battle during the age of wooden fighting ships, it is unclear whether there is any actual damage to the model[s] or whether the damage[s] are part of the damage inflicted during the battle. There is one possible damage and that is the ship's boat hanging from one davit on the starboard side of the U.S.S. Constitution, and it is unclear whether this is intentional or an actual damage. It is our opinion that this was done intentionally, and the diorama is in the original condition. Our opinion is based on the fact the model had not been moved since 1980, and the collector certainly would have had any [transit] damages repaired before putting the model on display.

The description of the item above may not be the final version used in the catalog. The descriptions are as yet unedited and may contain mistakes. The description, estimates and photos could all be wrong. In rare cases they may not end up in this sale. Once the items have received their lot number the descriptions will have been changed if needed.

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