HMS Wivern (1863); Service vessel; Coast defence ship

Scale: 1:48. A contemporary builder’s full hull model of the coast defence ship ‘Wivern’ (1863) complete with tripod masts and rigging, deck hatches and skylights, capstan, steering wheel and a single funnel amidships. The whole model is mounted on keel blocks on its original wooden baseboard.

After the successful appearance of the low-freeboard turret ship ‘Monitor’ in March 1862, the Confederate States, during the American Civil War, ordered two double-turret ‘rams’ from Messrs Laird of Birkenhead. To avoid any political difficulties on the account of British neutrality in the war, these ships were ostensibly sold to Egypt and were actually launched under the names of ‘El Monassir’ and ‘El Toussin’. However, they were later seized by the British government and renamed ‘Wivern’ and ‘Scorpion’.

Measuring 224 feet in length by 42 feet in the beam they had a displacement of 2750 tons. The guns in the two turrets were exposed by lowering sections of the hinged bulwarks and the tripod masts replaced most of the standing rigging thus providing a clearer line of fire. The ‘Wivern’ was sent to Hong Kong in 1880, and later in 1901 it was removed from the Navy List becoming a distilling ship and floating workshop until 1919.

Object Details

ID: SLR0944
Collection: Ship models
Type: Full hull model; Rigged model
Display location: Not on display
Vessels: Wivern 1863
Date made: circa 1863
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall model: 895 x 1680 x 455 mm; Base: 35 x 1730 x 460 mm
Parts: HMS Wivern (1863); Service vessel; Coast defence ship

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