Boston’s biggest model ship dealer planned to auction off about $1 million in nautical goods this weekend, about half of them once owned by Donald Trump’s architect.
Apparently Der Scutt, the man who designed Trump’s Trump Tower in Manhattan, was fanatical about model boats big and small, cheap and top-of-the-line pricey. Scutt died in 2010.
The designer, with many Manhattan skyscrapers to his credit, filled three floors of his twin five-story townhouses in the Upper East Side with the collectibles. And lots of them are for sale in Boston, said Larry Lannan, owner of the Lannan Model Ship Gallery, serving office building decorators and deep-pocketed collectors in the city since 1967.
Lannan said he sold Scutt about 100 model ships over the years. He used to load up his van (Lannan calls it his “Van Door Gallery”) with goods and drive to meet the architect in New York, sometimes selling the millionaire an entire cargo worth $20,000 to $30,000 at once.
Scutt’s wife wasn’t a fan of her husband’s hobby, or with his model dealers, Lannan said – he was one of many familiar with Scutt’s tastes.
“She loves me now, but she wasn’t always that happy to see me,” Lannan said.
The gallery typically holds auctions twice a year, and Lannan in the past has sold items once owned by wealthy moguls like J.P. Morgan, the late financier.
Up for grabs this time were a hundred-year-old model of the S.S. Ladywood, expected to sell for up to $3,500. Or maybe a 15-year-old miniature Lusitania, of World War I infamy, which is set in some realistic-looking waves and was expected to fetch as much as $2,000.
And then there is the Imperator, a hulking 10-foot-long German ocean liner on sale, which Lannan said could carry a price tag of up to $150,000. Scutt didn’t own that one, but it’s there.
Also for sale were some of Scutt’s original building models, among them the original miniature of the Trump Tower, the iconic building that helped launch the real estate tycoon and billionaire presidential candidate to pop culture stardom.
“This guy Scutt made Trump,” Lannan said. “He put Trump on the map.”
You could own the model for an estimated $2,000 to $4,000, though Lannan suspected it would fetch more.
Lannan said he had never met Trump, but did write him a letter asking if he was as interested in buying boating antiques as Scutt. He wrote back, and he wasn’t, Lannan said. He still has the letter somewhere.
The collection includes $140,000 in valuable paper artifacts: rare maps, pictures, schematics.
Bidding was set to happen live at BostonHarborAuctions.comstarting on Saturday.