Model, of gunboat Kwang Tung

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Postcard of Model, of gunboat Kwang Tung.
© National Museums Scotland

Model, of gunboat Kwang Tung

This wooden model represents 'Kwang Tung', a gunboat built in 1868 for the Viceroy and Governor General at Canton. Along with her sister ship 'Shang Tung', 'Kwang Tung' was built by William Denny & Brothers Ltd of Dumbarton.

The model is built to a scale of 1:48. The original vessel was 42.7 metres long and had a displacement of 280 tons. She was built of wood and iron.

Despite trade agreements made with China at the end of the Opium Wars in 1839 and 1856, the British in Canton came under attack from armed fishing junks. Piracy and smuggling was prevalent and the British remained unpopular. The British Embassy was forced to retain an armed force which included these two gunboats. The name 'Kwang Tung' comes from the coast of that name where the pirates operated.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-002-082-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1955.36
Date: Model: Between 1868 and 1955; Original: 1868
Opium War (event)
What: Gunboat, composite / model
Subject: 23. SHIPPING, Steam and Motor Ships (Departmental Classification)
Who: Kwang Tung (gunboat)
Shang Tung (gunboat)
William Denny and Brothers (Shipbuilder)
Where: China (locality)
Scotland, Dumbarton
Event: Opium War
Description: Model of the composite gunboats Kwang Tung and Shang Tung built for Chinese coastal defence by William Denny and Brothers, Dumbarton, to a scale of 1/4 of an inch to 1 foot
  • Storer, J D. Ship Models in the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh: A catalogue of models representing the history of shipping from 1500 BC to the present day. Edinburgh: Royal Scottish Museum Information Series, 1985, p 44. 
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