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    nortvaarders, koopvaarders, fluyts and hulks.

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  1. Great Harry

    Here's the surprise - it actually is the Great Harry, but in a Victorian reconstruction, about mid-1840s. Maybe "supposed to be" is a better description. Its a kluge of fantasy elements and anachronisms. A few models based on this image were made after that, and one - I think - was presented to Princess Elizabeth sometime after the Second World War. It might be in the NMM database, not sure. Kinda impressive to see a Great Harry contemporary to Brunel and Jenny Lind.
  2. White flag

    Agree. A black hull is just so 1810ish.
  3. White flag

    Kurt, take a look at the "Flags of the World" website if you can. The white flag, associated with the Royal Navy of France, and a symbol of Louis, is listed with historic naval flags and something like that should be suitable. You could also check the NMM website for contemporary paintings of battles involving French ships. http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/fr~mon.html (Interestingly, some sources describe a white flag with the new tricolor in the upper corner, used in the 1790-94 period. Sort of a transitional design from the early Directory.) A lot of Cerf models show a black hull but I wonder, especially for the 1770s-80s era. A tarred, unpainted hull, or one that was painted with yellow ochre, along with black wales, typical trim and that polychrome stern carving would seem more typical of trends in the largely pre-Napoleanic eighties.
  4. Skull decorations on ships: real or fake

    Dutch shipbuilders sometimes used bocranium, an ancient Roman motif of cattle skulls in the early 17th century. In Roman architecture, it meant cattle skulls sculpted into the frieze or upper stonework of temples or prominent buildings. When used on 17th century ships, skulls were probably carved wood, set at intervals along the aftercastle. Here are two examples in Dutch art, one from a view of Amsterdam in 1606, the other of a ship in a stormy sea, around 1614. No human skulls or piratey bits though.
  5. Red bulwarks

    Hey Chuck, thats a good point. In the above, the term 'paint' means color and pigment for visual effect. I think of tarring and other preservation methods as different, since they are primarily functional. So, say, a 'tarred, unpainted' hull means a wooden hull that has been tarred for protection but not painted for appearance. How does that sound? Mark, there were probably many different materials used in tarring over the centuries. It would make a good study. It must have been a lot of working keeping them up, and a lot of early paintings show ships with grungy tarred hulls. No surprise the evolution to increasingly overall painted overall ships after around 1800.