Warship (1800); French:Third rate; 74 guns

Scale: Unknown. A contemporary full hull, prisoner of war, bone ship model of a French two-decker, fully rigged and mounted on a modern wooden baseboard. The hull is carved from several pieces of wood to which the bone planks are secured with brass pins. The masts tops, caps, crosstrees, deadeyes and some blocks are made in bone, and are supported by largely original rigging. The deck is fully equipped with the anchors and their handling gear, the turned brass cannon are mounted on bone carriages whilst salt beef casks and galley chimneys are fitted on the forecastle deck There are a pair of longboats rigged to the yard tackles in the waist as well as stern davits, which would have carried a cutter.

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. 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. It is thought that the name is fictitious as has not been possible to identify the model with a particular vessel.

Object Details

ID: SLR0633
Collection: Ship models
Type: Full hull model; Plank-on-frame; Rigged model
Display location: Not on display
Date made: Circa 1800
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall model: 485 x 683 x 190 mm; Base: 63 x 483 x 148 mm

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