Sized in an amazingly detailed scale, this miniature British three-decker warship model is a Napoleonic relic, circa 1805. The carved solid boxwood hull serves as a focal point with the painted red gunports tying with the accents of the figurehead’s cloak, the interiors of the stern galleries, and the base risers. An extremely thin wood veneer was selected for the sails, and accents pieces on the model and base rail.
Of note is the tiny carved figurehead of ivory with the polychrome coloration. That it is present on such a ship of the line, with her guns arraigned on three full decks and topside, marks it so that she may be only one of five classifications, most likely one of the Dreadnaught-Neptune class, launched in the late 1790s. It is possible that it represent H.M.S. TEMERAIRE, which supported H.M.S. VICTORY at Trafalgar, and was immortalized as a favorite painting of J.M. William Turner, if not also his best work. A very impressive example of prisoner-artisan craftwork in an impressive small display.
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