This diorama model is a great piece of period folk art. Dioramas were built by the sailors themselves, depicting the ships upon which they served. The ship is well detailed with many features and good paint. Note the figures on deck including the Captain holding a sextant to his eye. The small single stack tug alongside the ship is also well made with puffy gray steam, flags and twin launches above her deck.
Research shows that LOCH NESS was built in 1869 by Barclay, Curle & Co., of Glasgow. She was an iron hull of Glasgow Shipping Company's Loch Line of ships which carried cargoes between the UK and Australia in the latter half of the 19th century.
Her dimensions were length: 225 ft; width: 35.3 ft ; depth: 21.6 ft and tonnage 1,258 GRT/1,203 NRT. Of the 25 ships in the Loch Line there were five with four masts but LOCH NESS is not listed as one of them. So this is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps the model was originally named for one of Ness's sister ships or there is a history of the ship that is not reflected in surviving records. Either way it's a good historical model of Scottish and Australian shipping.
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