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The Thomson Collection of Ship Models

The Thomson Collection of Ship Models spans some 350 years and contains examples of exquisite workmanship and some of the masterpieces of the genre. Foremost are rare late 17th and 18th century British dockyard models, made to scale for the Royal Navy and wealthy individuals. There is also a large number of models made by some of the 120,000 prisoners of the Napoleonic Wars. These models, made from wood and bone with rigging of silk and human hair, were produced by teams of skilled craftsmen and sold to local British collectors who gathered at the prison gates.

The shipbuilders’ models extend from the mid 19th century to the Second World War, representing a diversity of both model style and ship type ranging from tugs, dredgers and trawlers to cargo vessels, passenger steamers, private yachts, corvettes, battleships, cruisers, torpedo boats, destroyers and two aircraft carriers.

Navigating the Thomson Ship Model Collection

This series delves into the stories behind the ship models, the ships that inspired them and the people that created them.

The Thomson Collection of Ship Models Audio Tour

Join Simon Stephens, curator at the National Maritime Museum in London, England, as he guides listeners through the world of British ship models spanning 350 years.

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