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Model ship in a bottle, SS 'Imperator'

Date made: 1914-1919

Description: A model ship in a bottle depicting the 1912 German liner SS 'Imperator'. Purchased by the donor's late husband on the Isle of Man in 1945 or 1946 as P.O.W. work. The donor assumed it must be Second World War but the style is consistent with other Knockaloe ships in bottles, as is the glass. The label inside the bottle naming the ship also has a German style I, possibly cut from a magazine or postcard.

This however is the only known depiction of a vessel other than a sailing ship, and it is also rare to find a named ship. The liner 'Imperator' was built for the Hamburg-Amerika line to compete with British rivals such as 'Titanic' on the transatlantic routes prior to the First World War. After the war she was requisitioned by the allies as part of war reparations and re-named.

She was a symbol of German pride, and the level of detail on the model suggests it was made by someone who had probably sailed aboard her.

Materials: glass, wood

Object name: model

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 2021-0020



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