One of the
many unfortunate losses to the arts in World War II was the destruction,
in Berlin, of a large-scale original model of a Dutch ship-of-war of the
mid-17th Century. Fortunately she was well documented with plans and
photographs published after the war in a book. The Dutch authority on such
matters, Herbert Tomasen, believes this model may have been of the Jonge
Prins. Whatever her name, she is fairly representative of the Dutch
men-of-war of the mid to late 17th Century. She has the three attributes I
regard as necessary for being a subject for a ship model: Good looks,
accurate information, and historical significance.
The model is built to the scale of 16’= 1”, and is around 11” long
overall. This is the second of a trio I am creating of significant ships
of the three great contenders for maritime supremacy in the 17th Century:
the English, Dutch, and French.
The model is constructed plank-on-frame, using sources published by the
Dutch authorities such as Ketting, Hoving, Tomasen, and Dik. The starboard
side is partly planked with some framing exposed, while the port side is
completely cut away, showing the complete interior. Just four main “bends”
serve to fill out the shape of the hull on this side, and the main wale
and some upper rails connect these to give the longitudinal sweep of her
lines. Interior details include pumps, tiller, sweep and whipstaff,
capstans, and various partitions. Most of the main structure is of
pearwood from a tree cut in Ohio. The deck planking, of holly, was kept to
a bare minimum to avoid covering up the view into the model.
The carvings are all of natural boxwood, and are based on the excellent
photos of the actual model, as well as the paintings and drawings of the
Van de Veldes. They are all completely detailed, showing the faces on the
cherubs on the quarter galleries and stern. The arms on the stern are
those of William of Orange, and are blazoned in the proper tinctures.
Actually, all the carvings on the original ship would have been painted in
natural colors, but I was loath to cover my carving with paint, and thus
they are all natural boxwood.
The lanterns were turned from boxwood and hollowed out. They were made in
two sections with a lip and rabbet. The balusters for the companionway
were hand turned. The masts and yards were made of degama or lancewood.
All tops, crosstrees, and moldings were fitted. The trucks at the top of
the flagstaffs were turned from boxwood. The rigging is all of wire. Most
of the standing and running rigging is of Nichrome® a nickel-chromium
wire. Some copper wire was used for footropes. The flags are of glassine,
a neutral pH, thin paper. All details of the archaic 17th Century rig are
reproduced, including the crowsfeet.
These Dutch ships were generally shallow in draught and much smaller than
their English rivals, and not as lavishly decorated. 17 figures are placed
on the model, and a cat is shown on the keelson. The base and plinth are
of acacia burl veneer. This model was made in 2006~2008.