|The well-proportioned miniature model is constructed in the traditional format with a wood core and then is planked-over with bone. Thick wale and gunport strakes are bone with an ebonized finish. The deck planking as well as the hull is all pin fastened. It has solid bone masts with the lower masts showing ebonized bone ‘fish’ or strengthening braces on the fore side of the main & fore, with woolding bands, bone spars and baleen stun’sail yards, as well as bone blocks of various sizes. The model displays simplistic carving work in the decorative details, such as drapery and cords with tassels treatment on the bulwarks amidships, the staircase and railings to the poop deck, and straightforward stern and quarter galleries, and a polychrome classical warrior figurehead. It is rigged with general standing and running lines of very fine natural linen threads per the period practice. Custom fitted display case with the baseboard and glazed cover trim in matching rosewood, baseboard has a forest green leather top, with hand engraved sterling silver plaques.|
|Location of Origin: Europe|
|Medium/Materials: bone, wood, leather, sterling silver|
|Dimensions: Scale: NA, Size: 10 3/4" x 5 1/4" x 9", Class: Special|
|Primary Classification: Folk Art and Americana : Antique Ship Models, Nautical, Marine and Coastal Art|
|Secondary Classification: Antiques, Decorative Arts and Furniture : Models|
|Condition: Very Good|
Napoleonic Prisoner-of-War (1793 - 1815)
“The French Connection” Napoleonic Era Prisoner-of-War Ship Models 1793 - 1815
The war between Napoleon’s French navy and the naval forces of King George III of England lasted so long that the captured French prisoners had to find resourceful ways to spend their imprisonment, sometimes lasting more than eleven years.
Though not treated like convicts, they were confined to the likes of prison hulks in naval dockyards, old castles, outdated fortresses, or purpose built prison camps such as Norman Cross or Dartmoor. On the encouragement of their captors, they formed their own quasi-artisan guilds to produce small objets d’art to sell in the camp’s periodic civilian open market. Many of these imprisoned sailors came from specialized artistic vocations sponsored by Napoleon, e.g. ivory carvers, tapestry weavers, gold or silver smiths, fine furniture & cabinet makers, etc.
One of the most popular objects sought by the English were the alluring ship models they created mostly representing, in a stylized form, British naval ships of the era. These were constructed from recycled cattle bone, boxwood, whale baleen, or sometimes from more exotic materials supplied by the local citizenry, e.g., silk, gold or silver foil, ivory, tortoise shell, etc. The fine carving work and symmetric hull and deck planking exhibited on these models was remarkable, as well as the authenticity of their delicate linen or silk rigging. It is interesting to note, that a small percentage of their models actually had mechanical apparatus: make-shift wound springs attached to interior bulwarks gundeck cannons could be retracted inboard by pulling on small lines hanging from the stern or keel of the model.
~ This assemblage of antique works are exquisite examples of this genre. The scope of the collection, from miniature scales to larger sized models, is a unique offering on the variety of ship models produced during this era.
*Please note that when viewing the various models, their individually engraved plaques indicate an approximate date of the vessel given its design configuration and/or number of guns.
|Provenance: London gallery; 1940’s private collection Michigan|
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