Ship models, Sailing warships

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Warship (1800); French; Frigate; 44-46 guns

Ship models

Object connections:

Collection Ship models, Sailing warships
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID SLR0663
Description Scale: 1:120. A contemporary full hull model of a French 44-46 gun frigate (1800) fully rigged and mounted on its original wooden oval shaped baseboard. This is a very high quality, accurate and well made model of a typical frigate of this period. It is complete with a whole range of fixtures and fittings including brass cannons, a full set of anchors and handling gear, a double wheel and a capstan with the bars rigged and made from bone. The hull is a wonderful example of craftsmanship with the finely laid planks, either on a wooden core or possibly frames, still as tight as the day they were applied. The carved decoration at bow and stern is also of the highest quality and is probably in boxwood. The rigging is also very detailed and in largely original condition, complete with an original silk tricolor flying from the peak of the gaff on the mizzen. During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815), large numbers of French prisoners were housed in open prisons throughout Britain. To help pass the time and generate a small income, they would turn their hand to making a variety of objects including ship models. Materials such as bone, wood, horn, brass, silk, straw and glass were available and often these items were produced by a team of inmates each specialising in a particular area. Typically, the models were not made to scale as accurate scale plans were not available and tools were limited. To realise a good price at market, the models were often named after famous ships of the time, whilst some models included spring-loaded guns operated by cords.
Date made circa 1800

Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials wood; organic: cotton; organic: silk; organic: bone; metal: brass; paint; coating: varnish
Measurements Overall model: 451 x 617 x 219 mm; Base: 17 x 480 x 145 mm
  • Warship (1800); French; Frigate; 44-46 guns (SLR0663)
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