model of the "Banjo Unlimited/Silva Star," seeking info
I have been given a large wooden model of a steamboat by a relative, and am hoping you enthusiasts can help me identify it and learn something about the history of the original boat, and the model-maker.
Three photos are attached.
It is a stern-wheel double-decker boat in very good condition, I would guess the model dates back to the 1950s or earlier judging by the patina on the wood and the string that serves as ropes and rigging. In particular, a small U.S. flag on the top deck has just 48 stars, so the time period is before Hawall and Alaska received statehood.
The side of the boat has the name "Banjo Unlimited."
A sign on the front of the top deck reads "Silva Star."
My Internet searches have turned up nothing specific on this ship or company. Perhaps there is some better Internet registry that one of you might suggest?
This is a very large model, being some 58 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 19 inches to the top of the stacks. This is about twice the size of most of the modern models I see plans posted for (these are usually 28 to 30 inches). The large size, detail, and age and patina of the model make me wonder if this might have been a display model carried on the actual steamboat?
Any information on the real-life boat, or the history of the model or model-maker would be most welcome.