Warship (1800); French; third rate; 74-gun

Scale: Unknown. A small-scale prisoner of war model of a 74-gun two-decker, fully rigged and mounted on its original straw covered baseboard. The hull is planked in both bone and the darker horn, possibly to show the coppering, with the stern and quarter galleries carved from single pieces of bone. It is complete with a single bird figurehead together with trailboards, anchors, and a single boat slung from the yard tackles. As is typical with this type of model, the turned brass guns along the main and upper gundecks can be partially pushed into the hull. By pulling the single rope cord amidships, they ‘pop out’ to the firing position, a feature not normally fitted to models of this size.

During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815), large numbers of French prisoners were housed in open prisons throughout Britain. Their daily food ration included half a pound of beef or mutton on the bone. Subsequently, the bone became a readily available source of raw material from which a variety of objects were crafted. Other materials were also used including wood, horn, brass, silk, straw and glass. Typically, the models were not made to scale as accurate scale plans were not available and tools were limited.

Object Details

ID: SLR0622
Collection: Ship models
Type: Full hull model; Rigged model; Plank-on-frame
Display location: Not on display
Date made: Circa 1800
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 215 x 250 x 85 mm

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