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A FINE BOARDROOM MODEL OF THE STRICK LINE LTD GENERAL CARGO SHIP M.V. BALISTAN, BUILT BY JOHN READHEAD & SONS LTD, 1953
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A FINE BOARDROOM MODEL OF THE STRICK LINE LTD GENERAL CARGO SHIP M.V. BALISTAN, BUILT BY JOHN READHEAD & SONS LTD, 1953

Details
A FINE BOARDROOM MODEL OF THE STRICK LINE LTD GENERAL CARGO SHIP M.V. BALISTAN, BUILT BY JOHN READHEAD & SONS LTD, 1953
with masts, radio aerials, derricks and heavy lifting gear with rigging, stayed anchors with chains and winches, fairleads, ventilators, awning stanchions, bitts, deckrails, covered cargo hatches, derrick winches, companionways to central superstructure with bridge with over binnacle and helm, decklights, rangefinder, stayed funnel with safety valve extension pipe and hooter, engine room lights, four covered life boats in davits, emergency helm and much other fine detailing. The hull with lined decks, boarding companionway, single four-blade propeller and rudder is finished with gold-plated fittings, white, red, grey and lacquer and mounted on four turned silvered columns on display board with builder's details within brass-bound glazed display case. Measurements overall -- 22½ x 69½in. (57 x 176.5cm.)
See illustration
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Lot Essay

Ordered for the Strick Line in 1952, this post-War Baltistan was the third vessel of her name to serve with the company since it was established by Frank Strick in the mid-1880s. Founded to ship coal to North Africa and iron ore back into the United Kingdom, the company soon expanded its activities into the Persian Gulf and quickly became the pre-eminent carrier to that region. By 1939 the company's combined fleets boasted 13 Gulf traders and 12 Mediterranean tramps but wartime losses, including Baltistan II (built 1937; sunk 1941), totalled 16 ships with the result that, by 1945, the line's tonnage was severely depleted. The advent of peace witnessed an energetic replacement programme and by the time the contract for Baltistan III was signed, she became Strick's eleventh order since the end of the War.

Built by J. Readhead & Sons at South Shields -- the builders of all but one of the post-War Strick vessels as well as her namesake in 1937 -- the new Baltistan was designed with two decks and the distinctive cruiser stern favoured by so many of her breed. Registered in London at 7,489 tons gross (4,388 net & 6,273 under-deck), she measured 478 feet in length with a 58½ foot beam and was constructed with a cellular double-bottom for ballast including 262 tons of fresh water. Motive power was provided by a 2-stroke cycle, single-acting 4,400bhp. Doxford engine manufactured by the N.E. Marine Engine Company of Wallsend and this gave her a service speed of 13¼ knots. She was, in fact, Strick's first motorship and proved such a success in service that most of her successors followed suit. Her six holds divided by seven bulkheads offered not only large capacity but were also very economical to work and, over the next five years, several virtually identical copies of her were ordered from Readhead's to join the company's fleet. Although a P. & O. subsidiary since 1923, the Strick Line's ships were absorbed into the General Cargo Division of P. & O. during 1972 and a number of older units were disposed of. Baltistan was sold to the Cyprus-based Thenamaris Maritime Corporation and renamed Elindia but this proved a short-lived association; sold again in 1973 and given the name Gulf Diamond, she lasted only one more year before being scrapped in Karachi in August 1974.
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