Item CC-AR-00656 - Model of the Empress of Asia

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Model of the Empress of Asia

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  • [1913] (Creation)
    Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company

Physical description area

Physical description

1 model ; 118 x 376.5 x 44.5 cm ; in case 198 x 399 x 66 cm

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Model of the Empress of Asia made for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company by the shipbuilders of this vessel, the Fairfield Ship Building and Engineering Company of Glasgow, Scotland. The "Empress of Asia" models a quadruple screw turbine steamship, launched in 1912 for the Canadian Pacific Railway's trans-Pacific mail and passenger service, which saw distinguished service in peace and war for an extraordinary thirty years, travelling the route across the Pacific from Vancouver to Victoria to Yokohama to Kobe to Nagasaki to Shanghai to Hong Kong to Manila and return. An accurately scaled representation at 1:50 (1/4 in.:1 ft), the model consists of an exquisitely fine detailed wood structure, slightly longer than three and one half metres, painted in the Canadian Pacific colours of the period, fitted with very finely detailed brass rails and threaded stanchions, ship's bells, search light, life buoys, lanterns and propellers, rigging, gang ways and ladders, deck equipment including deck telegraphs, compasses, ship's wheel and binacles, hatches, housings, bollards, capstans and anchers, with working turnbuckles, pulleys, winches, three derricks, four cranes and other devices, and featuring lacquered wood promenades atop a strikingly long and elegant white-painted body of seven decks and top houses, surmounted by three slanted great funnels guyed to the tops of houses, two masts, one at each bow and stern, and a host of cowls with deep red-painted inside faces, sixteen covered Engelhardt boats and eighteen open life boats, complete with boathook and two pairs of oars each, suspended along the sides of the promenade and bridge decks, and bearing the name 'Empress of Asia' in brass letters affixed both port and starboard side and stern, the whole mounted on six turned and profiled brass posts on a base of solid mahogany and cased entirely in a cabinet, constructed in 1999 in the style of a period ship model case contemporary with the model of solid mahogany cornerposts with glass panes surrounding on top and all sides, set on a mahogany pedestal supported with six legs, all matched grain wood cut from a single four metre slab. Two original raised and tilted panels with the name of the ship, its builder, overall length, breadth, depth moulded, gross tonnage, and speed are fixed to the model base, one at each end. The model was purchased from Allenby Boake in 1993 by Dr. W.B. Chung, in a considerably damaged condition with the original case missing: after over 4000 hours of restoration the model was recased in 1999 in mahogany and glass.

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Model ship weighs approximately 500 kilograms.

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  • Box: Artifact storage