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I have compiled a list of books that I think would make excellent resources on rigging period ships, and I would like to decrease the list size from 12 to the top 4 or 5 absolute, must-have books, before I purchase.  My focus is on modeling 17th Century ships.  What would be the top 4 or 5 must have books on rigging?  Thanks for recommendations.

 

The Rigging Of Ships: In The Days Of The Spritsail Topmast, 1600-1720, Anderson, R.C.

The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War, 1625-1860 by James Lees

Eighteenth-Century Rigs & Rigging by Karl Heinz Marquardt

The Global Schooner, Karl Heina Marquardt, 1695-1845

Rigging Period Ship Models, Petersson, Lennarth

The Art of Rigging (Dover Maritime), Biddlecombe, George, New Condition

Rigging: Period Fore-and-aft Craft, Paperback by Petersson, Lennarth

The Construction and Fitting of The English man of war hardcover historical book

THE ARMING AND FITTING OF ENGLISH SHIPS OF WAR 1600-1815, lavery brian

The Construction and Fitting of the sailing man of war 1650-1850 goodwin, peter

THE ARTS OF THE SAILOR: KNOTTING, SPLICING AND ROPEWORK, Smith Hervey

SPARS AND RIGGING FROM NAUTICAL ROUTINE, mcleod. john

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17th century? ears perk up:

 

Deane's Doctrine of Naval Architecture 1670  Conway  1981

Seventeenth Century Rigging  by R.C.Anderson  MAP 1955

The Seaman's Speculum or Compleat Schoolmaster  1711 by John Davis  NRG 1985

The Ship-Builders Assistant 1711  by William Sutherland  ANCRE 1989

The Boatswain's Art or Complete Boatswain  1670  by Henry Bond  The Shellback's Library(?)

 much after:

The Young Sea Officer's Sheet Anchor  1819  Darcy Lever  Sweetman n.d.

Elements of Mastmaking, Sailmaking and Rigging 1794  by David Steel  Sweetman

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, tomsimon said:

Are these 2 books the same content?  Thanks 


1. Seventeenth Century Rigging  by R.C.Anderson

 

2. The Rigging Of Ships: In The Days Of The Spritsail Topmast, 1600-1720, Anderson, R.C.

 

thanks. 

Seventeenth Century Rigging is an update (1955) to the 1927 Rigging of ships.  Very similar content wise.

 

Anderson was one of the authorities. Check the "Mariners Mirror" for some of his work.

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3 hours ago, tomsimon said:

My focus is on modeling 17th Century ships.

There are two reasons why the 17th Century is the most challenging period to model: 1) The large amount of "gingerbread" carved decoration on the vessels requiring a high level of miniature carving or sculptural skill and 2) the dearth of accurate contemporary historical data. Even where 17th Century contemporary written works are at all extant, they are written in archaic language and difficult to decipher. Good luck with your interest in the 17th Century period, but it's the steepest learning curve of all.

 

For someone starting out, I'd suggest the Dover quality paperback reprint of Anderson's 1927 volume The Rigging of Ships in the Days of he Spritsail Topmast - 1600-1720. It's cheap and comprehensive.  https://store.doverpublications.com/0486710653.html?gclid=CjwKCAiAg8OBBhA8EiwAlKw3kuLl6XqmoMX0RQa5JTiUTaJyXTUssJLT33eRP0YGPNx8yynW1eCU6xoCEsoQAvD_BwE

 

For general history and background, though not perhaps ship modeling "how to do it" details, one interested in the 17th Century period should also consider any or all of Richard Endsor's works, all of which are currently available:

 

 The Restoration Warship: The Design, Construction and Career of a Third Rate of Charles II's Navy. (2009)

https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Endsor/e/B0030INS44%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

 

The Master Shipwright's Secrets: How Charles II Built the Restoration Navy (2020)

https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Endsor/e/B0030INS44%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

 

Warships for the King: Ann Wyatt (1658-1757) Her Life and Her Ships (2012) (Contains 1:96 modeling plans set for Cumberland in pocket)

https://www.seawatchbooks.com/ItemDisplay.php?sku=112001

 

The Great Ordnance Survey of 1698, a fasimile (2013)

 https://www.seawatchbooks.com/ItemDisplay.php?sku=113003

 

and

 

The Warship Anne: An Illustrated History (2017)

https://www.amazon.com/Warship-Anne-illustrated-history/dp/1844864391

 

Not being a modeler of 17th Century vessels, I haven't laid my hands on any of Endsor's books, but they are very highly regarded by 17th Century period modelers and I plan to pick them up for my general research library. They seem to represent the current state of the art in terms of historical research and likely include all the information one would have to otherwise laboriously mine from the reprints of contemporary works. Perhaps somebody who has any of them can provide an eyewitness review of them.

 

(Library-building tip: google around and look for used or "remaindered" (publisher's close-outs) copies. These high quality specialty modeling volumes are often very expensive when first released to the relatively small modeler's market and, a year or three later, are "remaindered" for a fraction of their publication price. Used copies pop up at reasonable prices, as well, often when a deceased modeler's research library is sent off to the used book dealers. Prices for "classic" works remain high until reprints are available. Out-of-print and in demand volumes may require taking out a second mortgage, though.)

 

 

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As promised, here are a few resources on rigging of 17th Century vessels.  I have tried to avoid duplicating anything from above.

 

Bond, Henry. 1704. The Art of Apparelling and Fitting of Any Ship. http://echo.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/MPIWG:A09VZBVW.
Davis, John. 1711. The Seaman’s Speculum, Or, Compleat Schoolmaster: Containing, the Most Ready and Exact Manner of Rigging of a Ship, After a More Easy Way Than Has Been Hitherto Practiced, Suited to the Capacity of Every Seaman, Tho’ He Knows Nothing of Numbers. Eben. Tracey. https://books.google.com/books?id=frZoPAAACAAJ
Lees, James. 1984. The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War, 1625-1860. 2nd rev. ed. Annapolis, Md: Naval Institute Press.
Moore, Alan. 1912a. “Rigging in the Seventeenth Century.” The Mariner’s Mirror 2 (9): 267–74. https://doi.org/10.1080/00253359.1912.10654628.
———. 1912b. “Rigging in the Seventeenth Century.” The Mariner’s Mirror 2 (10): 301–8. https://doi.org/10.1080/00253359.1912.10654635.
———. 1913a. “Rigging in the Seventeenth Century.” The Mariner’s Mirror 3 (1): 7–13. https://doi.org/10.1080/00253359.1913.10654658.
———. 1913b. “Rigging in the Seventeenth Century.” The Mariner’s Mirror 3 (11): 328–36. https://doi.org/10.1080/00253359.1913.11006036.
———. 1914. “Seventeenth Century Rigging.” The Mariner’s Mirror 4 (8): 260–65. https://doi.org/10.1080/00253359.1914.10654826.
Salisbury, William, and R. C Anderson, eds. 1958. A Treatise on Shipbuilding: And a Treatise on Rigging, Written about 1620-1625. Occasional Publication, No. 6. London: Society for Nautical Research.

 

The Davis (1711) was reprinted by the NRG in 1985 (editted by Merrit Edson). I have a pdf copy, but for the life of me I can not recall from whence it came!

Davis, John, and Merritt Edson. 1985. The Seaman’s Speculum, or Compleat School-Master. Bethesda, Md.: Nautical Research Guild. ISBN 978-0-9603456-1-8.
 

See also this thread for some additional information. .

 

Edited by trippwj
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12 hours ago, Bob Cleek said:

Not being a modeler of 17th Century vessels, I haven't laid my hands on any of Endsor's books, but they are very highly regarded by 17th Century period modelers and I plan to pick them up for my general research library. They seem to represent the current state of the art in terms of historical research and likely include all the information one would have to otherwise laboriously mine from the reprints of contemporary works. Perhaps somebody who has any of them can provide an eyewitness review of them.

 

Bob -

 

I have his Master Shipwrights Secrets. It is a very well researched and detailed book.

 

If not able to acquire his books, there is some information published to the interwebz:

Endsor, R. 2005. “Notes: A Drawing of the Midship Bend of the Hampshire 1653.  The Earliest Plan of a Known English Warship and the Story of Her Repairs.” The Mariner’s Mirror 91 (1): 67–100. https://doi.org/10.1080/00253359.2005.10656933.
 

The Women of Restoration Deptford, Transactions of the Naval Dockyard Society, Volume 8, June 2012

The Van de Velde Paintings for the Royal Yacht Charlotte, article in Mariner’s Mirror, Vol 94, No 3, 2008

The Loss of Stirling Castle 1703, article in Mariner’s Mirror, Vol 90, No 1, 2004

https://www.richardendsor.co.uk/home/4539578529

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Tom

These are repeats of the above, but considering your time period of interest, I reinforce these for being considered for your library.   Others may also apply.

 

The Rigging Of Ships: In The Days Of The Spritsail Topmast, 1600-1720, Anderson, R.C.

The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War, 1625-1860 by James Lees

  NB: I would forget about Rigging Period Ship Models for your particular project, as it is specific to one rate of vessel in one time period in the 18th century.  

As your interest is 17th century, Richard Endor's books are a must for information from the keel up, including both The Restoration Warship and The Master Shipwrights Secrets. 

 

Also consider acquiring a few appropriate original contracts from the same time period once you have selected a ship to build.  The following is a portion of page one of an 8 page contract for two fifty gun English ships in 1693.  Transcribing these is fun and very challenging project in itself.

 

Allan

1288903686_Contractsample2.thumb.jpg.01656332cceedff3f97395117614d82f.jpg

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Thanks all for your commendable recommendations. I have recently purchased a few of the regarded titles, used, from Ebay, and in the meantime I am finishing up Mastini’s book. And to thunk I think, a “purchase” was how one bought and sold on Tallship.

 

@allanyed I am curious, as this craft is still new to me, would you provide details on/about:

 

 

“Also consider acquiring a few appropriate original contracts from the same time period once you have selected a ship to build.  The following is a portion of page one of an 8 page contract for two fifty gun English ships in 1693.  Transcribing these is fun and very challenging project in itself.”

 

I appreciate your time and insights. 

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Tom

If you go to the National Archives, Kew, England website, you can try to do a search or email them.   They also have an online tutorial on how to read these old documents as the lettering, wording, punctuation and grammar are not necessarily the same as they are today. They have contracts for such things as ships' boats to rated vessels.  As mentioned earlier, the contracts were typically only given to private yards.  If you wish to build a model of a vessel built in a King's yard, there is likely no contract.  Depending on the time period, these vessels would have been built to the Establishment scantlings for that particular time which are readily available from the 18th century.  I do not know of any detailed information on scantlings for the 17th century so have opted for ships with contracts when researching potential 17th century projects.   The books by Endsor will have answers to a lot of your questions for the 17th century.  

Allan

 

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