Model of a Sampan

The model is of a sampan, a small trading vessel used along rivers and coastal areas in China. They are usually rigged for sailing, though some are propelled by oars. The model has a squared bow and a raised squared stern. It is made of teak and has a gold painted boot topping. The keel and rudder are pierced by diamond shaped motifs. A single canvas sail is raised on a chamfered mast above an open hold with three transverse ladders across the opening. The model is fitted with two oars, four covered boxes and two anchors attached with chains to crank mechanisms on the bow. A brass plate attached below the mast is marked "made by/A. King/Hong Kong."
Currently not on view
Object Name
ship model
date made
ca 1850
King, A.
Physical Description
wood, teak (overall material)
overall: 32 in x 31 1/4 in x 10 1/4 in; 81.28 cm x 79.375 cm x 26.035 cm
hull: 9 in x 28 in x 10 1/4 in; 22.86 cm x 71.12 cm x 26.035 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.