Paper Boat

An Advertising Oddity

I normally find myself trying to answer the questions in this section, but now I am seeking information from all you passing visitors to the VG site.

The attached illustrations are of a very small (loa 1.5 inches) model made from very thin card and paper. I don't know where it came from. I found it when I was tidying the workshop and have completely forgotten how I came by it

The hull and deck are die pressed and cut from card. The hull is shaped so that the boat will 'heel' when placed on a flat surface. The deck has an elegant pierced fantail extending beyond the transom. The sails are from paper and have the cloth seaming printed on them. The main also has a printed message that is now too faded to read, except for a few words, one of which is 'Christmas'. The mast, which was tapered, and the spars were originally made from very fine metal tube that was rolled from the flat, with the edges of the main sail enclosed within the slot. The mast was broken and has been replaced with wood as has the bowsprit. The boom retains its original arrangement and you will see that there is an eye for the main sheet formed in the metal. There is a wire horse for the main sheet and a wire representation of a tiller. These had disappeared and have been replaced. The hull was originally in natural brown card, the red paint is my addition

This must have been a relatively expensive item to produce. The hull and deck need special die tools and the metal masts use a technique that would have called for special tooling also, yet it seems to have been a seasonal advertising novelty. Though the text is in English the flag on the leach of the main sail is not. It is a tricolour, but with the colours arranged in a way that represents no actual national flag, either now or in the early years of the 20th century, when I should think that it was produced.

Anyone who has any suggestions as to what it really is, when it was produced and for what purpose, please email me

Russell Potts


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