1927 Model Ferry in Case with Documentation
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:25)
C. Wesley Cowan
Arms & Militaria, Books & Manuscripts, Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Photographs
Cowan's Auctions, Inc.
GUEST: My grandfather worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad and my Uncle Glen was the president and he asked my grandfather to build this because they were going to put out the steamboats and the ferryboats, and they wanted to use it as a model.
APPRAISER: Who was the maker of the model?
GUEST: Cy Collins.
APPRAISER: Cy Collins. Did you know when it was made?
GUEST: 1926. Or maybe 1927, I think... Yeah, right in that area.
APPRAISER: And what's the significance of this model?
GUEST: Well, they used it as a model when they were christening the boats. And the mayor and everybody would have it and they'd put it in the newspapers when they were christening it.
APPRAISER: And, you know, you brought in a great scrapbook that relates to this and I spent a little time going through the scrapbook, and, in fact, I learned that this is one of three all-steel ferries that ran from Oakland to San Francisco.
APPRAISER: And this was the last one that was christened, in March 1927. The other two were the Fresno and the Stockton, and these were huge ferries for the time. They had a capacity of a hundred cars. They were 265 feet long, and they were built at a cost of over a half a million dollars each at the time. Now, ship model-building has a very long tradition in our country. We've sold ship models from the 1860s, 1850s. These were typically made for important people in the company, so when you say your grandfather built this for someone at the company-- you said you thought he built it for the president.
APPRAISER: You know, the scrapbook that you have has all sorts of neat stuff with this, including pictures like this. This is a sister ship, The Fresno.
APPRAISER: You know who this woman is?
GUEST: No, I don't.
APPRAISER: There's a newspaper clipping in your scrapbook that says she's an employee of the transportation company. But you also, in addition to the boat, have ribbons, cards, menus-- all sorts of things that relate to the christening of these three different boats. If I had this in an auction, knowing the history that you have about this, I would probably guess that it would bring $3,000 to $5,000.
GUEST: Oh, really? I didn't expect that much. I was just proud of it because my grandfather built it.
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