Thursday, February 07, 2008


Ship model may sell for £7,000


Sunderland Echo
February 06, 2008

An intricate model of one of the shortest-lived ships in Sunderland's marine history is expected to fetch up to £7,000 at auction this month.

The 4ft 5in long model, with brass fittings, is of the ill-fated steamship Barnby.

The vessel was built by Short Brothers of Pallion, engined by George Clark Ltd of Crown Road, Southwick, and launched in December 1940.

It was torpedoed by German U-boat 111 off the Icelandic coast on May 22, 1942, in one of the most bizarre nautical incidents of the Second World War.

The Barnby did not sink immediately. It was on its way back from Canada heavily laden with flour, which swelled up and kept it afloat. No one knows where it lies.

Lionel Willis, marine models expert at auctioneers Bonhams ,who are selling the Barnby model in their marine sale at Knightsbridge, London, on February 20, said: "Builders' models of this period are particularly sought-after, because they are very attractive.

"Early models have fine metal fittings, often silver or silver gilt and gun metal or brass. The complex derricks and davits, open bridgework and detailing all add to the value of the Barnby model.

"Models such as this were made to be presented to the owners by the shipbuilder, usually. They would then have been displayed in the owner's offices or initially in the boardroom."


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