La Paix (1764); Merchant vessel; Passenger/cargo vessel

Scale: circa 1:28.5. A contemporary carvel-built full hull model of the French East Indiaman ‘La Paix’ (1764), a merchant vessel. The model is decked, equipped and rigged, with the sails furled and set. The name ‘La Paix’ is carved on the stern. The four principal sails and most of the spars are thought to be original. It was re-rigged in the Museum in 1936 using contemporary evidence and further repaired in 1947 after suffering wartime damage in 1941. It has a lion figurehead and an ornately carved stern with a coat of arms.

Built at L’Orient during 1763–64, the ‘La Paix’ measured 145 feet from stem to sternpost by 39 feet in the beam (both taken from the model). It was armed with 20-25 guns on the upper deck and displaced 900 tons. The hull has two typical features of an East Indiamen: a full body and very little sheer. The armament was carried on the upper and quarterdecks, the lower deck ports being dummies. Noticeable French features are the shape of the quarter galleries and the pear-shaped combined topsail sheet and lift blocks. It was probably named to mark the end of the Seven Years War and the resumption of peace: ‘la paix’.

The French East India Company was founded in 1664, although French ships had been trading with India and the Far East from a considerably earlier date. ‘La Paix’ made three voyages to the East and was condemned in 1771.

Object Details

ID: SLR0511
Collection: Ship models
Type: Full hull model; Rigged model; Sails set
Display location: Not on display
Vessels: La Paix 1764
Date made: circa 1764
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall model: 2190 mm x 2367 mm x 920 mm

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