Boulvar; Warship; 74 Guns

Scale: unknown. A large model of a typical two-decker, 74-gun ship of the line (circa 1800). It has been largely constructed from bone, which is pinned onto wooden internal frames, and is fully rigged with mast and spars also made from bone. It is complete with an ornately carved figurehead holding a trident and shield in either hand. Two cords at the stern operate the cannons in and out. The name ‘Boulvar’ is on the stern, however as it is prisoner of war work, doubt remains whether it is really identifiable with that ship.

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 realize 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.

Object Details

ID: SLR0636
Collection: Ship models
Type: Full hull model; Rigged model; Plank-on-frame
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Vessels: Boulvar fl.1800
Date made: Circa 1800
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall model and base: 583 x 730 x 222 mm

Your Request

If an item is shown as “offsite”, please allow eight days for your order to be processed. For further information, please contact Archive staff:

Tel: (during Library opening hours)

Click “Continue” below to continue processing your order with the Library team.