Other items are more personal: these include a beautiful Valentine pin cushion, made by a sailor in the 1800s for his sweetheart and a ditty box, inlaid with straw, made by a French prisoner of war. These boxes were sold at the prison gates for extra money, food or tobacco for the prisoners.
Amongst the exhibits are several models and half models of various yachts, junks, clippers and yawls. Pride of place goes to a replica of
made from ivory and silver. Another, made by a prisoner entirely of bone, is a replica of the French ship
whose crew were responsible for Nelson's death.
There are many navigational instruments and other items of nautical memorabilia.
Adorning the walls of the museum are numerous paintings dating from the early 1600s to the 1900s, including those by famous artists such as Buttersworth, Peter Monamy, Thomas Luny, Swain, Nibbs and Norman Wilkinson.
In 1979, Sir Max created a charitable trust to preserve his collection and to make it available to the public as a museum. Despite his death in 1985, it remains a very personal museum and is much the same as he knew it, serving as a lasting reminder of a truly remarkable man.