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An extremely rare museum quality 19th Century United States Navy Dockyard built model of a Foote Class Torpedo Boat built by the Colombian Ironworks & Dry Dock Co.
Raised on nickel plated turned pillars the laminated hull is fitted with highly detailed plated fittings, armament, torpedo tubes guardrails and castles in the original glazed mahogany case with plated builders plaque.
A unique feature of this model is the mechanism to rotate the torpedo tubes and guns by means of a double key in the case that works a series of worm drives through the hull.
Builder: Colombian Ironworks and Dry Dock Co. Baltimore
LOA: 160′ 6′
Beam: 16′ 1′
Draft: 52 0′
Provenance: On both sides of the Atlantic, the American and British navies were experimenting with small, high speed, steam driven torpedo boats capable of delivering explosive spears against much larger vessels. The early boats, Alarm and Stiletto were private ventures but USS Cushing, built by the Herreshoff Company, was the first to be delivered to the American Navy in 1890 and was equipped with self-propelled torpedoes.
USS Foote was a development of these earlier torpedo boats and was built by the Columbian Ironworks & Dry Dock Co., Baltimore and commissioned in 1897.
This model is shown with double bow torpedo tubes, a feature rapidly done away with as the boats frequently ran over their own torpedoes and sealing the tubes from the sea proved problematic.
Both the American and British navies continued with the development of torpedo boats which became progressively larger and more heavily armed and became the foundation of the 20th Century navy destroyer.
Navy dockyard models of this period rarely appear on the market and is the only example we have ever seen with the armament mechanism.
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Wick Antiques was established by Charles Wallrock in the early 1980s. Having grown up in the Antiques world Charles has developed an extensive wealth of knowledge and is extremely passionate about the antique world so please feel free to contact us with any queries or questions.
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