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Incredibly rare and stunningly beautiful, this intricately carved ship model was created by a French prisoner during the Napoléonic Wars ... moreIncredibly rare and stunningly beautiful, this intricately carved ship model was created by a French prisoner during the Napoléonic Wars. Entitled "Le Héros", the model depicts a 74-gun ship-of-the-line of the French navy. A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through to the mid-19th century to take part in the naval tactic known as the line of battle, in which two columns of opposing warships would manoeuvre to bring the greatest weight of broadside firepower to bear. Meticulously handcrafted from bone, this objet d'art is impeccable from stern to bow. During the lengthy conflict between Napoléon and the United Kingdom, many French soldiers spent extended periods of time (sometimes years) in British prisons. In order to offset the cost of their care, the prisoners (many of whom were artisans and skilled craftsmen long before serving as soldiers) were allowed to create goods to be sold to English civilians. By many accounts, Napoleonic prisoners of war were confined to mostly makeshift prisons in old castles, naval dockyards and purpose-built camps. Though treated fairly well, prisoners were typically kept in rather dark conditions and were not allowed to have objects that could be used as weapons, including tools. That means inmates would have had to create these amazing models using handmade tools using scraps of whatever was available, including shards of glass for carving; an activity that was most likely done by candlelight. With this perspective, the precision and intricacy of this model becomes even more awe-inspiring. This important piece comes housed in a museum-quality, custom-crafted glass case. Circa 1798 less
- 41ʺW × 15ʺD × 25ʺH
- Early 19th Century
- British Colonial
- Place of Origin
- Very Good Condition, Vintage / Antique / Used, Original Condition Unaltered, No Imperfections
- Condition Notes
- Excellent condition Excellent condition less
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