Captain Gray, who made this model, was known as the 'Prince of Whalers' for his success in hunting Greenland whales.In the nineteenth century, Peterhead and Aberdeen were major centres of the Arctic whaling industry. Generations of families would set out to sea to hunt bowhead whales in the waters around Greenland, until the whales were hunted to near-extinction and the industry collapsed. Captain David Gray Junior of Peterhead, captain of the steam-powered whaling vessel Eclipse in the 1870s and 80s, was a keen naturalist and corresponded with British zoologists about the Arctic. In 1878, the British Museum requested him to bring back a skeleton of a bowhead whale for study. As the skeleton proved too difficult and expensive to transport, Captain Gray produced instead a detailed model of a Greenland bowhead whale to the scale of 1 inch to 1 foot. He made a second, similar model whale in 1885; this model is now on display in the University of Aberdeen's Zoology Museum.
Captain Gray, who made this model, was known as the 'Prince of Whalers' for his success in hunting Greenland whales.