Victory (1765); Warship; First rate; 100 guns

Scale: unknown. A fine example of a prisoner of war model which was once named ‘Victory’ although the name plaque is now missing. It shows a typical three-decker 100-gun ship of the line and is complete which a wealth of deck fittings as well as boats rigged from the yard tackles and stern davits. The model is mounted on its original baseboard which is decorated with a geometrical pattern of inlaid wood and bone, some of which has been stained.

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.

This particular model is unusual in that its provenance is known. It was made by prisoners in Portsmouth and presented to Sir George Grey, Commissioner of the Royal Dockyard from 1806–29.

Object Details

ID: SLR0640
Collection: Ship models
Type: Full hull model; Rigged model
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Vessels: Victory (1765)
Date made: circa 1806; 1806-1829
People: Grey, George
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall model and base: 710 x 835 x 295 mm; Original case: 783 x 955 x 358 mm
Parts: Victory (1765); Warship; First rate; 100 guns

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