Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Card #12 from Finland, the art of building ships in bottle

Postcard received from Postcrossing user, Elina from Finland.

Ships in bottle is an art. The history of ships in bottles is the history of the two major components. Sailors on ships of all sizes and types have used scrap wood, cloth, and rope to make model or toy boats to pass long hours at sea. This model-making dates back perhaps 4,000 years. The Egyptians buried miniature ships with their mummified masters, and the Phoenicians, Etruscan, and Greeks produced models that are shown in wall murals.

Model ships were not bottled until about 1850 when the great clipper ships plied the seas from port cities in England and America. These ships had as many as seven masts and many sails for the speeds needed to cross oceans and deliver products and profits. They were also equipped with guns and the large crews of sailors for manning the rigging and weapons. The date of the first construction of a ship in a bottle is unknown; but the patience needed to fold the masts in the bottle was a challenge, and the bottle protected the model. Most of the classic sailing ships have been preserved in bottles and in maritime museums.

The hobby of building ships in bottles is not for everyone. Love of research, ships and sea lore, history, woodworking and other skills, and minute details, as well as considerable patience, are required. The finished models are surprisingly durable and are treasured possessions to leave to children and grandchildren. Competitions are held around the world and opportunities to display models, including museum exhibits, are plentiful, so many people can enjoy these creations and purchase and collect them.

This nautical craft thrives because parts can be produced in numbers and sold in kits for hobbyists of all skill levels. The temporary nature of so many modern collectibles and mass production on a far greater scale than the ship-in-a-bottle kits have also encouraged crafters to pursue this relatively unusual interest. Those who appreciate ships in bottles are not likely to grow to huge numbers, but they are intensely loyal to the blend of skill and mystery in these models.

Click here to know more and about the manufacturing process.

Source: answers.com

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