Half-hull working model: "Romance of the Seas"

Donald McKay (born in 1810), Or George B. Upton

Object Place: East Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Overall (H x W x L): 30.5 x 12.7 x 152.4 cm (12 x 5 x 60 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Pine, cedar

On View

George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)





The period inscription on this builder’s model suggests that it was used in designing the last extreme clipper ship to be built at Donald McKay’s shipyard. The extreme clipper ship was distinctive for its enormous size (this one was 1,782 tons) and for the dedication to speed of every element in its design. The sleek lines of these vessels, reflecting the search for functional form, qualify them as masterpieces of artistic design. George Upton, designer and owner of the vessel, may have made this model.


Owned originally by George B. Upton; descended to Mrs. George B. Upton, Jr.; given by her to Mr. Thomas Kittredge Cummins; given by him to his sisters; from them to the donor; given to the Museum in 1939.

Credit Line

Gift of John Templeman Coolidge