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150-200 Year old model of the HMS Victory.

HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, ordered in 1758, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765. She is best known for her role as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.


In 1922, she was moved to a dry dock at Portsmouth, England, and preserved as a museum ship. She has been the flagship of the First Sea Lord since October 2012 and is the world's oldest naval ship still in commission, with 243 years' service as of 2021.



I have a rather extensive collection of models, mostly aircraft but in the group are cars, trains, and ships.

I have always been fond of model ships because of their complexity and the patience it takes to create them.


On one occasion, I undertook the building of a large model kit of the Cutty Sark. The kit was hanging about at a girlfriend’s parents, and they said if I wanted to build it knock myself out. Three months later after I have no idea how many hours, but lots, I delivered the model.


I had gone overboard, making every detail more refined and authentic that even the manufacturer of the kit had created and that was saying something.

I proudly lowered it carefully on to the parent’s dining room table and her stepfather walked in.

He gave it a quick glance, said something to the effect of, “That’s nice”. He then picked it up and put it on top of the TV in the family room.


I was, to put it very mildly, horrified, but there was not much I could say or do.

Within a week my girlfriend told me her stepbrother, a precocious 12-year-old, had knocked it off the TV and broken it. I offered to take it back and repair it hoping against hope that they would say “Just keep it.”


She said, no bother, mom threw it out. To that I had no response, at least none I could announce in polite company.

Since that time, I have never endeavored to build another although this ship model has, I admit, given me the urge to the point I was wandering about the internet last night looking for a model kit of the Soleil Royale, a ship I had always wanted a model of.


All this aside, the individual who created this model of HMS Victory, had much better luck than I.

In 1968, Christies in London offered this model and at the time they warranted that it was well over 100 years old.


Their experts offered the opinion that it was made by a sailor as it exhibits traits of the artwork that sailors used to pass the time on long voyages. If so, this sailor had a very clear recollection and seemingly intimate knowledge of the ship.


Who made it is lost in time, but we do know that it was purchased at an estate sale at an English Manor house in the 1950s. We have letters from the wife of the chap who bought it.

There is a comprehensive history of the model since that time with accompanying photos and letters.


When I secured it, it was stained by the dirt, cigarette smoke and grime of decades and it was pretty much all the same colour, black.

I gave it to one of my master restorers and he spent days cleaning it, repairing, rigging, and restoring all the sails and flags and placing them in their appropriate positions following the earliest black and white picture we had.


The result is spectacular. This model still has the rich patina deserving of its age but its colour and detail shines through.

It seems to have never been placed in a glass case, but that is soon to change as I have ordered to be made a very high-quality case in which to place it and protect it from the further slights and degradation that open-air display creates.


This is a unique opportunity for anyone who loves sailing ships. It will make a spectacular addition to any collection, or as the centerpiece for any room.

I know I say this a lot, and I do because I only offer those things that I covet myself, but parting with this will be perhaps a bit more difficult than my usual offerings.



David Grainger

HMS Victory Model Ship 150-200 years old

SKU: 00163
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