SILVER SHIPS MODEL OF A VIKING LONG SHIP
A fantastic silver model of a Viking long ship in truly remarkable detail and showing the high skill of the silversmith, (see below for construction details). The model is mounted on a teak base, and housed in a teak and glass case.
Please note that we are selling this items on behalf of a client and at present we have returned them to the clients property. If you would like to see this item in the showroom, please give us some notice so we can arrange to bring it back in.
It was sometime in the summer of 1979, that the owner of these models found himself looking in the window of an internationally known jewellers in Bond Street, London, and was attracted by the model of a silver Dhow. Being an engineer, and a model maker in his youth, he was attracted by the beauty of the craftsman’s art, and the intricacy of the fittings which endeavoured to show such a craft under full sail.
As he had also spent many pleasant years living near the sea and associating with boats, the idea of capturing the beauty of a sailing boat in such a shimmering metal as silver caught his imagination, and he became interested enough to purchase a book on styles of the Arab Dhow, from which it became apparent to him that the model he had seen was not a true representation of any of the craft depicted.
After discussing the matter with several of his friends, he became determined to produce an authentic model himself, and with the aid of further books on the subject, commenced drawing the scale model of an Arab Dhow. It soon became obvious that a much higher degree of skill was necessary than was first realised, and that the techniques used in working silver were different from those used in working with the baser metals, so he decided to enter a course in silversmithing at the local technical college.
It was during this course that he met Robin Buck, who was the silversmith destind to be commissioned to produce the Dhow.
Robin Buck was the senior lecturer on the course, and a well know designer and silversmith of many years standing, who has also produced ships of this type. He became interested in the project, and after it became clear to the owner that a one year course of silversmithing would be quite inadequate to enable him to acquire sufficient skills to create the Dhow, Robin Buck was commissioned.
In May 1980, the Dhow was finally completed. It has many interesting and working features such as removable latrines at the stern, movable wheel with chained rudder, sliding focs’l hatch etc., and considered by many to be as faithful a replica of the Boom Dhow as could be achieved.
Having completed the beautiful model of the Arab Dhow, a much more ambitious project was considered – the construction of a Viking Long Ship in silver, but constructed in the same manner as it would have been when made in wood by the shipwrights of those days.
Again much research went into the design of the ship itself, and the processes of construction. In this case all the planning of the ship’s hull would need to be shaped individually to the ribs, whereas in the original construction they would have been rough hewn and bent under pressure and heat, before being fixed in position with wooden pegs, and metal rivets.
This meant that the ship had to be designed like a wooden ship, with the ribs being drawn up individually to suit the final shape of the hull and the keel laid before planking could begin. Each individual plank then had to be shaped and riveted in position as above. Trying for this ideal authenticity almost proved too much for the silversmith, who spent some 2,000 hours in the manufacture of the ship: some 1,500 hours of which were spent on this almost impossible feat of constructing the hull to the degree of authenticity which is unique to this day.
Two ‘landing’ planks are also included. When in use these were placed between the boat amidships and the beach, when landing in order to allow horses and heavy materials to be moved on and off the ship with comparative ease. The Viking Long Ship was designed with a very wide and flat hull amidships, which allowed it to be virtually beached, and to remain stable while being loaded and unloaded. A sample of many buckets housed for a variety of purposes such as cleaning the decks, themselves, drinking vessels for horses, food containers etc, was included, as was a typical sea-serpent figurehead and tail.
In late March 1994 the ship was finally completed with an overall length of 19″ and a height of 10.75″. It is rigged, and also includes the usual side mounted rudder for this type of vessel, with a full complement of 16 pairs of oars.
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