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Toy Steam Boat


This is a “Take to Pieces” model of the RMS Queen Mary, a British ocean liner that sailed the Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967. It is based on a design by illustrator George Horace Davis, who became known for his cutaway infographics depicting planes, ships, submarines, and other vehicles that were published in the Illustrated London News for four decades beginning in the early 1920s. Here, Davis’s illustrations come to life in a three-dimensional model that is composed of more than a dozen layers of paper-covered cardboard connected by a metal screw. The layers rotate around the screw, allowing them to be stacked to form the complete ship or to be fanned out to reveal details of the decks within. The ship’s lounges, kitchens, boiler rooms, and over 200 other spaces are represented from above, each numbered and identified by a key chart that was included with purchase. The boat was made by British toy manufacturer Chad Valley, which began as a printer in the early 19th century and expanded to produce a wide range of paper, plush, and metal toys, eventually earning the honor of becoming the official toymaker of the Queen of England.

  • Medium:Paper, cardboard, metal
  • Dimensions:2 1/2 x 12 x 1 1/2 in. (6.4 x 30.5 x 3.8 cm)
  • Item:T.2019.2.125.6