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All hands on deck « The Polar Museum: news blog

The Polar Museum: news blog

All hands on deck

Our collection here at SPRI is not static and very recently the Institute was gifted a model of the Terra Nova. It is not as big as some of our ship models (we have twelve in the collection) but it is beautifully formed.


It was made from silver by Mappin and Webb in 1913 and presented to Peter Scott, son of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, by ‘the Proprietors and Readers of John Bull’.

The detail throughout is amazing and very absorbing, it is very difficult not to spend a long time just looking at it!

Close-up of model

Although initially the condition didn’t look too bad, a closer inspection revealed a number of issues, including some structural damage and a discoloured lacquer layer.


From a conservation point of view it is a challenging piece. However before any conservation treatment is carried out lots of detailed photos and extensive condition notes will be taken. I’ll also have to brush up on my nautical terms, luckily we have a copy of The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea in the library.

As this is going to be a long-term project I’ll publish updates on the blog as the conservation progresses.

(Images © SPRI/Fiona Cahill)

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