Model boat sails away for £2,500 at auction

Model of Philante, a boat built by Camper and Nicholsons in Gosport, in 1937.''The motor yacht saw active service as HMS Philante in the Second World War.

Model of Philante, a boat built by Camper and Nicholsons in Gosport, in 1937.''The motor yacht saw active service as HMS Philante in the Second World War.

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A MODEL of a yacht made by world-renowned boat builders Camper and Nicholsons has been sold at auction for £2,520.

The wood and metal model of Sir Thomas Sopwith’s motor yacht Philante, which saw active service during the Second World War, was sold yesterday at an auction house in London. The boat was made by workers in the famous boat builder’s yard, in Gosport in about 1937.

The model was sold yesterday afternoon at Charles Miller, an auction house specialising in maritime and scientific objects.

The boat itself was a motor yacht and one of the world’s largest when she was built.

She displaces 1,600 tons, is 263ft in length, with a 38ft beam and has a draught of 15ft 5ins.

During the Second World War she was absorbed into the Royal Navy, becoming HMS Philante.

She served as an Atlantic convoy escort.

After the war she was sold to Norway in 1947, whose government had led a fundraising campaign to buy her for the popular ruling monarch, King Haakon.

He had been promised a state yacht on his accession in 1905 but wars and economic depression had put paid to it.

But his opposition to the Nazis and his 75th birthday saw him finally awarded a yacht, the Philante.

Philante was returned to Camper and Nicholsons between October 1947 and June 1948, before being given to King Haakon under the new name Norge.

She is now one of just two Royal yachts left in the world, the other one being the Danish Dannebrog.

The model of Philante was presented to Royal Navy Commander Rupert James when he was commanding officer of the Controlled Mining School, in Portsmouth, from 1939 to 1945.

It measures 30in by 68in by 9ins and has a blue and white carved wooden hull with twin propeller shafts and a removable deck.

And it has deck rails, ventilators, companionways, deck lights, a bridge with brass instruments, masts with radio aerial, funnel and fitted launch.

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