19th Century Naval Architect's Scale Model of a French 70-Gun Frigate

2201-211906 (Click to Inquire About This Item)

34H x 42W x 15D

Location: Baton Rouge


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19th Century Naval Architect's Scale Model of a French 70-Gun Frigate was completely hand-made to scale, long before model companies mass-produced parts for such works of art!  Down to the most amazing detail, each piece was hand-crafted to appear just as it would on the finished product.  This prototype numbered 8950-10/20F was proposed to the French Navy.  History has not recorded if the design was ever produced as depicted, but in most cases such works were transformed into full size fighting vessels.  The 70-Gun Frigate was the real workhorse of the navy, not quite so large, cumbersome and deep-drafted as the largest vessels, yet fully capable of holding her own against most any vessel on the high seas.  (The USS Constitution is a frigate, for instance.)  This example features an exquisite stern with gracefully flared enclosed balconies and was where the captain's quarters were located, just above the massive rudder.  Decorative woodwork above the stern is decidedly French, but not nearly as fussy as some admiral's flagships tended to be.  The ship's figurehead on the bow just under the bowsprit depicts homage to the King of France, with a crown appearing above a fleur de lys in relief mounted with wings, rosettes and scrollwork.  Even the blocks (pulleys) that are too numerous to count have been hand-crafted to scale, with all the rigging in place.  Note the bilge pump designed for two sailors to operate, and the enclosed wheelhouse for inclement weather, even the ventilated hatchways ~ the detail is astonishing!  Even the sails have been fully cut, then carefully furled so the ship appears as it would for a formal inspection, with all guns run out except the two stern cannon.  A stunning testament to the artistry, technical ability and patience of the builders, this magnificent artifact also provides a glimpse into the lives of sailors from the bygone era of heavily armed sailing vessels.
Circa 1820s
Measures 34H x 42W x 15D

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