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Thermopylae Limited 50"
Ready for Immediate Display - Not a Model Ship kit
Museum-quality features and finely-crafted details capture the spirit and pride of the Thermopylae in this Limited Edition scale replica tall ships model. With devoted attention to historical accuracy, every detail on the Thermopylae authentically matches the famous tea clipper ship. Serving as the centerpiece of a meeting room, office or den, or perhaps setting a proud nautical tone for a corporate boardroom or family living room, these Limited Edition model tall ships are certain to inspire an indomitable winning spirit.
50" Long x 11" Wide x 27" High (1:65 scale)
- Built from scratch over hundreds of hours by master artisans
- High quality woods include cherry, birch, maple and rosewood
- Individual wooden planks used in plank-on-frame hull construction
- Museum Quality features not available in other model tall ships under $3,000 or any kit
- Higher quality woods used in construction
- Greatest attention paid to every detail
- Extensive rigging featuring over 200 blocks and deadeyes
- Other Amazing Details, including:
- Planked deck with nail holes
- Authentic scale lifeboats
- Brass rails and other deck accessories
- Finely crafted and highly detailed deckhouses
- Large deck allows for more items and finer details
- Masterfully stitched, heavy canvas sails hold shape and do not wrinkle
- Taut rigging with varied thread gauge and color
- Meticulous painting accurately matches the actual Thermopylae
- Wooden display base features four arched dolphins
- Pictured with marble base (available for purchase)
- Extensive research of original plans, historical drawings and paintings as well as actual photographs ensures the highest possible accuracy
The Thermopylae was built in 1868 at the shipyard of Walter Hood & Co., Aberdeen, for George Thompson. She measured 212.0 ft x 36.0 ft x 20.9 ft and 948 tons net. She was designed as an extreme clipper for the China tea trade and rigged as a three-masted ship.
On her maiden voyage, captained by Robert Kimball, Thermopylae made a record crossing from Gravesend to Melbourne in 63 days. On her continued voyage to Shanghai she set another record between those two ports. Other startling performances were from Newcastle, NSW, to Shanghai in 31 days, Shanghai to London in 91 days and Victoria, BC, to Hong Kong in 23 days.
The Cutty Sark was built for John ‘Jock’ Willis whose ambition it was for her to be the fastest in the annual race to bring home the first of the new season’s tea from China. In 1872, Thermopylae left Shanghai with a cargo of tea for London in company with the Cutty Sark. After racing each other for two weeks the Cutty Sark lost her rudder after having passed the Sunda Straits. Thermopylae finally arrived in London only seven days ahead of her rival. Though the Cutty Sark made some good performances, she never managed to outrun the Thermopylae.
Fate was to thwart her owner's hopes in the tea trade: in the year after she was launched, the Suez Canal was opened, allowing steamers to reach the Far East via the Mediterranean, a shorter and quicker route not accessible to sailing ships, whose freights eventually fell so much that the tea trade was no longer profitable. So Thermopylae’s involvement in the China run was short lived, her last cargo of tea being carried in 1877.
First sold to W. Ross & Co, London, then to Reford, Montreal in 1890, who rigged her as a barque, she was forced to seek cargoes in the lumber trade. In 1895, Thermopylae was sold to the Portuguese Government who converted her to a training ship and renamed her Pedro Nunes.
Some sources have it that the Thermopylae came to her end in 1906 when she was torpedoed at sea by units of the Portuguese Navy. Other sources have it that she sank off the rocks at the Green Point lighthouse in Table Bay at the Cape of Good Hope. Yet another source has it that she was sunk by gunfire at the birthday celebrations of some Sultan or King. Be that as it may, though second to none, the Thermopylae came to a lonely and undignified end to sink beneath the waves which she so proudly battled for more than thirty years.
Though the Thermopylae was regarded as the fastest clipper ship to have sailed the oceans of the world, her memory lives on in the hearts and minds of only an informed few.