French model 118-gun, three-decker ship

French model ship 118-gun

Model ship, Unknown, 18th century

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Núm. d’inventari: 8185

Nom d’objecte: model ship

Títol: Ship

Data de l’objecte: 18th century

Autor: unknown

Tècnica i material: tortoiseshell, ivory, metal, plant fibre, bone, ebony and paint.

Model ships

Model prison ship or hulk, made of ivory and ebony probably at the end of the 18th century, a period of great wars between France and Great Britain when hundreds were made. Thousands of French seamen ended up as prisoners in ships that did not sail, but were used as floating prisons. As a distraction or to win some money, some built models using waste materials like animal and fish bones or leftover wood, with human hair for the rigging. Other model-makers copied this technique, using more noble materials like ebony, tortoiseshell or ivory. In this model, placed on a pedestal, the figurehead is of a soldier with a red helmet.