This cased presentation half hull model is of the first winner of the America’s Cup, the schooner America. The copper coloured bottom is painted with black topsides and has a finely carved garland around the bow. There are two stump masts, a caprail and bowsprit. It is set on a mahogany backboard with a Bakelite name plaque engraved ‘Schooner Yacht ‘America’ Scale ¼ = 1 foot to W.G.J. from G.L.W’. A label identifies the case maker as ‘Lambert Picture Frame Manufacturer, 34 Albert Gate, Hyde Park, S.W.’ and another describes the model, including the fact that the case was added in 1903. It then explains the initials W.G.J. and G.L.W. ‘This model was presented by G.L.Watson to W.G.Jameson. George L.Watson was one of England’s leading yacht designers. He designed four America’s Cup Challengers which included: Thistle, Valkyrie, Valkyrie II and Shamrock II. He also designed the King’s Britannia, and the Kaiser’s Meteor. William G.Jameson was probably the most successful amateur helmsman in the U K in the 1880’s and the 1890’s. Jameson introduced Lord Dunraven to yacht racing in 1887. Dunraven was to build three challengers for the America’s Cup, all designed by G.L.Watson. Jameson in 1892 acted as an adviser to the Prince of Wales and introduced him to Watson who designed his Britannia. Jameson also advised Thomas Lipton in his Shamrock II challenge. Clearly, Watson and Jameson worked closely throughout their careers. Scottish, 1887.
We are indebted to Dr William Collier, Managing Director of G. L. Watson & Co. Ltd, whose research has unearthed both this drawing of plans of America’s hull and Watson’s own notebook on Britannia, or design No. 270, as she was then. The first entry reads ‘Racing Cutter 87ft [waterline length] per W G Jamieson’ followed by ‘Note of costs as given to the Prince of Wales’, the total was £8,300. The drawing is one of a series that were made for models and there is at least one other of America made at the same time and given as a thank you present in connection with the Valkyrie IIchallenge.