Saturday, March 26, 2016


Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, CT  2016

This is the largest  of a series of ship models created by Italian immigrant Pasquale Montesi who settled in Norwich back in 1898.  Montesi learned to sail as a youth in the Italian navy and had quite and eye for detail and a great memory.  He created each of his ship models completely from memory, without the aid of plans or blueprints.  None of his models were actually modeled after a real ship.  He carved all the wood by hand when not working in the fish store he opened in Norwich.  This particular model measure over 12 feet long and 10 feet high .  The detail is quite remarkable.  What's even more remarkable is that Montesi never learned to read or write.


  1. This is a remarkable model. It is longer and higher than my perfectly functional sailing dingy. Perhaps he should have been a boat builder. Great find. It must be in a museum?

  2. Yes, it is in the Lyman Allyn Museum which has been featured in my recent posts. The museum acquired his collection ship models and displays them as examples of American Folk Art. They're pretty impressive.