Conservation of an antique model clipper
Sam Matthews is currently studying for the Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies specialising in Furniture and Related Objects, having previously completed the Foundation Degree Arts – Furniture programme.
As part of his studies, Sam was assigned the treatment of a model clipper, brought into the furniture workshop back in February 2020 by a private client. The clipper ship model was in fairly poor condition, including missing part of its mast and riggings, so posed plenty of treatment options for Sam to consider.
The model had been passed down through the generations of a local family and was rediscovered in the family attic following a bereavement. It is thought to have been made in 1900 by the client’s Great, Great Grandfather, Fredrick Charles Martyn (born 1850) who was part of the Royal Navy.
It was originally constructed using materials including spruce, pine, mahogany, and boxwood, in addition to brass, copper and Hemp.
Clipper ships were built for speed with three masts and a large sail area, thought to be named for the way they were able to clip swiftly through waves.