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Conserving a model of 'TSS Cedric'


The conserved builder's model of 'TSS Cedric'. The model is currently on display in the Art and the Sea gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum.

'TSS Cedric' was built in 1903 by Harland and Wolff for the White Star Line. This is the original builder’s model which was made to a scale of 1:64 (one inch on the model is equal to sixty four inches on the ship).

The model has been damaged in the past by water and impact, and it has had some poor quality repairs carried out on it. Many of the cabin walls, the lifeboats and the baseboard have been over-painted. Interestingly, the baseboard is made from a single piece of mahogany!

A previous conservation treatment removed an opaque layer of dirt which had covered all the horizontal surfaces, but there was still an oily residue and spotting on the decks. 

A lot of the original rigging had broken. Most of it was carefully joined and repaired, other rigging had to be replaced. 

Some of the porthole glass had come loose and was a very delicate task to put back, other portholes had a white deposit on them from old wax polish where the hull had been polished.

Click on the thumbnails below to see the conservation work in progress.

The stern of the model during treatment. This photo shows the last remaining area of very dark dirt layer right at the stern. This dirt was removed with a cleaning solution and cotton buds. As can also be seen, the flagpole at the stern is broken. This photo shows the deck once it has been cleaned. The flagpole has also been replaced using boxwood, as it would have been originally. A lot of the standing rigging and halyards had been damaged or broken. This photo shows the broken communication rig. The remaining threads are brittle with age. The original stay has been replaced using thread of the same thickness, coloured to match. When repairing the ratlines, lengths of dowel were used to keep the shrouds straight, while the ratlines were retied or replaced. The ratlines after they have been repaired, they are very delicate. The finest fly tying silk was used. Shown here is the 'number 15' lifeboat before treatment. A long time ago the life lines rotted and were removed; they were replaced with crudely painted loops! The 'number 15' lifeboat once the dried oil and over-painting have been removed from the hull and the lifelines have been replaced with cotton thread. We copied the broken threads that were still present on the inboard side of the lifeboats. The loops to hold the life lines have been replaced. This is one of the captain's gigs before treatment. The cloth straps hanging down, called gripes, have broken. The captain's gig boat after treatment. The boat has been cleaned, the gripes repaired. The bridge before treatment. There is dried oil on the cabin walls and decks, and  the lanyards for operating the steam whistles are broken. The bridge deck after treatment. The mast-coat, around the base of the mast, has been repaired, the whistle lanyard has been replaced, and the deck has been cleaned. The rudder had five broken hinges. The rudder after repair. Some paint from a poor-quality repair has been removed so that the rudder has a better fit against the hull. This allowed the hinges to be glued correctly. After many months the model is ready for display.

'TSS Cedric', liner, builder's model (Harland and Wolff), scale 1:64

Accession number 34.140