Model of the brig Vanguard


South Australian Maritime Museum

South Australian Maritime Museum
Port Adelaide, Australia

Waterline model of brig ‘Vanguard’ featuring single topsails and a long bowsprit with a yard set above the bowsprit to spread the head rigging. The vessel is flushed decked, with quarter galleries, a male figurehead, and is fitted with handspike windlass and quarter boats on davits. The model scale is 1:96. A plaque on the case records that the vessel was trading between London and Sydney 1837-42 and was made by senior apprentice HC Pearce in 1842.

Made by a former crew member, this model is a fine example of sailors’ handiwork. Seafarers often crafted detailed models o to commemorate the ships they worked on.


  • Title: Model of the brig Vanguard
  • Date Created: 1842-01-01/1842-12-31
  • Provenance: The cased ship model was donated to the Port Adelaide Nautical Museum by its maker’s son, H.W.C Pearce, of Prospect South Australia in 1953. ‘Vanguard’ was a wooden brig, 238 tons, built in 1833 at Whitehaven, United Kingdom by William Wilson. Henry Charles Pearce was born in Liverpool in 1825 and is believed to have served on the Vanguard as senior apprentice. Pearce qualified as a master in 1855 and after many years at sea he joined the South Australian lighthouse service in 1883. He was Harbor master at Beachport, South Australia, from 1890 until retirement in 1899. Established in 1872 the Port Adelaide Nautical Museum is the oldest maritime collection in Australia and represents the Port Adelaide community, businesses and seafarers ― some returning home from abroad and others passing through. Formerly located in the museum of the Port Adelaide Institute, the collection is now held by the South Australian Maritime Museum.
  • Rights: History Trust of South Australia, CC-0, photographer: Kylie Macey

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