Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Charles G. Davis Model: The LEXINGTON

In issue two of NAUTICAL QUARTERLY back in 1978, Weston Farmer said of Charles G. Davis' models that were found in "important maritime" museums, "These were the masterpieces of a God-given talent that was literally stunning." Davis was, in turn, a sailor, a naval architect, an engineer, an artist, a writer and more. No wonder Farmer described him as a "Leonardo of the boat-design game." In addition to editing MOTOR BOAT magazine for a number of years, Davis also wrote numerous books on yacht design, sailing and more. One of his books, "The Built-Up Ship Model", written in 1933, was a classic book for modelers, teaching them how to build a model as if building an actual ship. Just recently, through a generous gift, the museum became the proud owner of the brig LEXINGTON, the model used as basis for the book. The LEXINGTON was one of the first private vessels taken into the fledgling U.S. Navy and had her name changed to honor the town where the first battle of the Revolution took place.

The picture shows some of the extraordinary detail of the model, including the workmanship on the ship's boat. The model will spend a couple months in our CO2 chamber to guarantee that no living thing is harming the model in any way before it makes its way back into its case for potential display in the near future.

Mystic Seaport is proud to add the LEXINGTON to its wealth of C.G. Davis material, including other models in the collection, but also a sizable gathering of his plans and manuscript material, including many of the drawings that accompanied his writings.

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