Historic Dundee ship models are being dusted off and put on display for a one off exhibition on Saturday.
A wide range of models including battleships, whalers and even Tay Ferries are being taken out of storage in the latest open day at the McManus Gallery’s Collections Unit in Barrack Street after much public demand.
Dundee built or owned ships dominate the Ships Ahoy exhibition which gives members of the public the opportunity to get up close to some intricately detailed models.
Some of the scale models were created for the owners of the ships while some larger models were used as templates for shipbuilders and some more amateur pieces were made by ship carpenters.
A large model of the 18th century Lord Duncan battleship, on loan to the museum since 1894 from the Dundee Fraternity of Seamen, is among the pieces on display.
Also included in the exhibition is a model of Scott’s Terra Nova.
Social history curator Rhona Rodger will be on hand along with conservator Becky Jackson-Hunt to talk to people about the many pieces and there will also be sea shanty singers to welcome people in.
They hope to attract a lot of people as the ship models are some of the museum’s most requested treasures.
Rhona said: “We get a lot of requests about where our ship models are as they used to be on display. Many of the models have not been seen for the last 30 years.
“Some of these models are absolutely stunning made by the ship makers for the owners. They are perfectly to scale top class models.”
While many of the items on display are extremely fragile, with settling dust enough to damage the rigging, there is also an important conservation aspect to the exhibition.
Although some of the models are in their original cases, some have packed away in boxes and the exhibition gives staff the chance to get them out so they can be cleaned and repacked away again.
Becky said: “Organic materials deteriorate all the time so some of the older models have already had their rigging restored. In the past some of the models have been damaged as a result of some well-meaning cleaning but we try not to restore too much to keep our models as authentic as possible.”
The work is also part of a project aimed at making the stores more accessible to people and if there is enough interest in the exhibition it may be put on again.