Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Darwin's BEAGLE

"July 5, 1832. In the morning we got under way, and stood out of the splendid harbour of Rio de Janeiro. In our passage to the Plata, we saw nothing particular, excepting on one day a great shoal of porpoises, many hundreds in number. The whole sea was in places furrowed by them...". Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle.

The model pictured is the H.M.S. BEAGLE as constructed by Alexander G. Law, an extraordinary modeler who worked from the 1930's through the 1960's. Law built everything in miniature. As an example, the case for this model is 7.5 by 11 inches, so the small scale of the model is evident. Law placed his models on hand-painted charts of regions traversed by the vessels, thus a chart of the La Plata River outside Rio graces this case. He would also place a book about the modeled vessel in a drawer fashioned into the case. Mystic Seaport has 20 models by Mr. Law and the BEAGLE can be seen in the exhibit, "Treasures from the Collection" opening in April.

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