There are three large display cases in the basement and one on each landing presenting the museum's collection of maritime artefacts.
Staircase display cases
These display cases feature a selection of objects from our stored and archived collections. The displays are changed every six months. Prior to each change, the museum’s collections unit chooses what they would like to focus on and put on show for visitors. There is much to choose from in the archives and stores, and from among the rarities in our library.
Dragon above the staircase
Above the southern staircase display case hang a dragon’s head and tail. These were once attached to a royal sloop from the early 19th century. You can read more about the dragon below. The dragon is also one of the museum’s mascots and is included in our children’s trail.
Cellar display cases
We use the museum’s cellar display cases to exhibit a compressed history of shipbuilding based on models of boats, ships and machinery, tools, photographs and archive materials from the museum’s collections.
Follow shipbuilding from the rock carvings of the early Bronze Age, through to Viking and Medieval archaeological findings, the rich fleet of the cargo skipper’s age, to the era of the large sailing ship and finally the noisy and steamy period of the motorised vessel.
The models have been built by professional model makers at the museum and by sailors or skilled enthusiasts in model-making workshops. There are plans for many of the models in the archive: original plans and measurement plans made specifically for constructing models.
Each model tells us something about the period in which it was built, and almost all of the models have their own exciting story to tell. Take, for example, the model of the firewood yacht Greta Linnea of Yxlan.
Roslagen cargo boats supplied Stockholm with both building materials and necessities. Up until the early 20th century, these lay closely packed off the city’s shores. In 1931, in order to document a particular boat-building tradition was then believed to be dying out, the museum ordered a model of Greta Linnea of Yxlan, a vessel launched in 1921. Even by 1931, her best days were behind her and she was to have the same fate as many of the other cargo ships; She would be scuttled and become the caisson for a bridge for the land transport that would dominate the new age. Later on, the model contributed to creating the next layer of history when its measurements in turn formed the basis for construction of a replica, SOFIA LINNÉA, which was built in the 1980s.
Using the models, we are able to see how technology has developed over the years, but they also show how old techniques live on side by side with the new, and sometimes enjoy a renaissance. New techniques meet and create new needs. The development of society creates new opportunities.
From the late 19th century onwards, people start having more free time. The old traditional vessels were easily modified and became recreational boats. Among the models of cargo ships, all of a sudden a model of the racing schooner America appears. When she won the first ever international yacht race in 1851, she gave it her name: the America’s Cup.