Napoleon's Barge
Scale ½”=1’, LOA: 29”           Degama, Boxwood, Holly, and Applewood with Black Walnut Base           $150,000

THIS IMPERIAL BARGE IS ONE OF THE ONLY REMAINING VESSELS of the Napoleonic age of splendor. It was built in just 21 days for Napoleon's visit to inspect the defenses of Antwerp in 1810. It was later used by Napoleon III in 1858. This model is based on the plans produced by the Musee de la Marine and McCaffery’s personal observations and photographs taken at the museum. The appearance is based on the reconstruction in the Marine Museum of Antwerp.

The model’s hull was built upside down on a framework of templates. The port side was planked in degama, fastened with several hundred copper rivets, and left natural finish. The starboard side is planked in apple, fastened with wood treenails, and painted. All planks are laid lapstrake or clinker fashion. The interior frames were steam bent in two layers, and each frame had to be notched- over 12 planks per side. The house is painted on the starboard side, as well as the stern and bow ends. The interior has a painted decoration on the ceiling, and three Empire-style chairs for furnishings. The coach house has an edging made from hand-bent boxwood arches, each half-lapped at two places. This railing is topped with a boxwood molding, and is mounted on hand-turned pillars, also of boxwood. There are 152 of them. The carvings are perhaps the most intricate part of the model. The figurehead group represents Neptune with cherubs holding seashells, backed by dolphins. The trident is made up of three pieces. The shaft is of degama with a tennon on the end. The three-pronged head is carved from a single piece of boxwood, and joined to the shaft with a hollow sleeve, also turned from boxwood. The tines on the head are carved with a hollow tapered diamond cross section.

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