Model of an 80-gun ship

Model 80-gun ship, unknown, 1740

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Num. inventory: 16367

Object name: model ship

Title: 80-gun ship

Object date: 1740

Author: unknown

Technique and material: wood, cloth, plant fibre, metal, paint. Model ship.

Model ships

Shipwright’s model (a scale model used as a prototype for the construction of a real ship) built in the Arsenal of Havana, in Cuba, towards 1740. In an era when ships were not built with blueprints, shipyards tended to have three-dimensional models that served as references for the construction of full-sized ships. In this case, the model probably served as a guide for the construction of the ships San Carlos, San Luís and San Fernando, launched in Havana between 1765 and 1767.

This model was sent from Havana to the Iberian Peninsula, to the arsenals of Cartagena and Ferrol. In 1808, an officer from the Napoleonic army carried it to France and later, during World War I, the model ended up in the United States. It was lost until 1985, when the New Bedford Whaling Museum recuperated it and donated it to the Maritime Museum of Barcelona.