Model of the so-called “Cog of Mataró”

Cog of Mataró Model, Josep Vieta Pons, c. 1935

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Núm. d’inventari: 3302

Nom d’objecte: model cog

Títol: Cog of Mataró

Data de l’objecte: 1920 or c. 1935

Autor: Josep Vieta Pons

Tècnica i material: wood, cloth, plant fibre, metal, paint. Model ship.

Model ships

Model of a 15th-century ex-voto currently kept at the Maritime Museum of Rotterdam. Although it has traditionally been believed to represent a medieval cog and to have come from the hermitage of Sant Simó in Mataró, there are now doubts about its origin, and it is identified more as a carrack. This model was completed in 1920 by Josep Vieta Pons, then a young shipwright who in 1936 became the first head of the workshops of the Maritime Museum of Barcelona.

The model probably represents a Catalan nau from the 15th century, the result of the fusion of medieval carracks and Atlantic cogs, which were originally from the Baltic and North Sea but were later adapted to commercial navigation in the Mediterranean. The fundamental traits of the Catalan nau are a hull with rounded lines, a broad beam, a large freeboard, a square rig on the mainmast and a lateen sail on the foremast. The elevated forecastle and aftercastle could house archers or crossbowmen to defend the ship, although armed men could also be placed in the crow’s nest.