Help Identifying Maritime Items from Father's Estate

Hello, I’m the daughter of Michael A. Snyder, an alumni of the USMMA and an admiralty attorney from Chicago, IL who passed away in 2011. He had an extensive collection of random nautical items that I’m trying to identify, valuate and liquidate. I’m hoping those in this community can point me in the right directions since these items run from art to educational to eclectic. Any help would be greatly appreciated, offers would be considered. Here is a link to a google photo album with several items I’m trying to figure out. The one that has everyone stumped is the metal, alpha/numeric flags box. Additional images available by request. TIA!!

Nautical items Estate of Michael A Snyder, Esq.

It’s a signal flag training kit.

That training kit is neat.

The knot board is fairly typical unless he did it himself or it has sentimental value put it on ebay.

The books should be easy enough to Google their edition numbers to see if they’re rare. Again they aren’t particularly valuable.

I can’t say much about the models but they look cool too.

the model of the clipper SEA WITCH is very nice…not museum quality but still one which would be an excellent addition to any private collection

the painting of the SS BREGENZ is the one which has my curiosity…very little on the internet about this ship other than she was sunk by Italian torpedo boats in 1918 with 234 lives lost. I wonder if the artist might be identified but I can’t? This one could be worth some money though if painted by a well known maritime artist of the time

I have a few models which don’t quite equal the complexity of the rigging on your Sea Witch and mine don’t have any pedigrees. I would check with houses that specialize in maritime antiques. I would guess at least around a thousand and possibly a lot more to the right buyer if you are not in a hurry.

Agreed on the Sea Witch model. If you give me a rough idea of its length I’ll check my collection of old catalogs and see if it was possibly made from a kit. I can’t tell from the photos, but does it appear that the hull is carved from one piece or built up from individual planks?



Thank you, would this be used in a school setting - like the USMMA? I’m not even sure if I set it up correctly to take the photos, just seemed logical.

Thank you for looking and responding. I like the flag thing too, it’s portable but doesn’t have a carrying handle and because those flags are all metal, it’s pretty heavy. Can’t find another photo of anything like it.

I’m sure my dad didn’t make the knot board, it’s more extensive than the ones I’ve seen so far, and like the flags, I’ve yet to find a duplicate image. I will continue to stalk Ebay.

Thank you for looking and responding. The model hasn’t been out of its case for as long as I can remember, but a few minor repairs need to be made - a few lines on the bow need to be reattached and a few sailors have fallen over during several moves - one is overboard. I’ve been told the sailors are actually railroad workers.

As for the painting, that’s my newest “find”. I opened a box of a bunch of framed certificates (the Louisville/Henderson steamer piece was in there too) and there is was. There is no glass, it’s just paint directly on a plate of wood. I’ve tried researching the anchor AA symbol in the upper corner but nothing so far. I think that was how I found this site - “anchor artist mark” google search. Hopefully someone out there in the maritime world will recognize it.

Lee_Shore and Earl_Boebert1

The model is 33" high, 22" long and 8.5" wide. I have had the model appraised but I’m scared to death to ship it so I’m hoping to find a buyer in the midwestern US - I’d be willing to drive and meet up. I’m also scared to open the case to fix a few minor things, and I’m betting someone who knows more about them wouldn’t hesitate to do that themselves.

Thank you both for your comments and looking at the items. I have more, just no photos yet.

I didn’t realize that one of the photos was the nameplate which gives the provenance. Definitely not from a kit.

The model shows signs of “lead disease,” which has hit museum collections hard:

And you should be aware of this as it might be brought up by a potential buyer. You are quite right in not opening the case or touching anything owing to the lead disease and possible deterioration of 1945-era adhesives. That’s about all I can tell you and best of luck in selling it. It’s really a very nice model (one does not often see the full running rigging done) and deserves the attention of a professional conservator.



Thank you. The article link was very interesting and I can understand this being a problem. My gut has always told me not to expose the model and it was nice to know I did the right thing. I’m guessing some of minor issues are a direct result of this deterioration but hopefully easily repaired. Considering it’s over 70 years old, and knowing how many times it’s been moved, I’m amazed it’s still standing! Again, I truly appreciate your comments and time.

Yup on the previous comments. The mail packet slips may be rare. Suggest you contact the mariner’s museum in Newport News, VA or the USMMA historian/ museum curator for input. The books are older but standard nt so rare novels. “Looking for a ship” is a classic merchie book.