Isn´t that disappointing? Such carelessly nailed-on strips of wood, no structural deck elements, when compared with the HZ-model, which even has a nearly complete hold build-up. So I assume, that the Gent model has an empty hold. I saw another strange thing: From outside, between the wing transom and the first transom, there are heavy bolts attached on the planking at the same height as the gunports. Does that mean that the room inside is filled up with a heavy timber, just like in Vasa? Above and below there are of course the longitudinal knees of wing transom and first transom fixed with these heavy bolts from the outside. We can also see the two cardinaelshouten. In the pinas, with Witsen described, there is only an "ents planks", standing "op sin kant" between the transoms to strenghen the holes. Here may be a heavy timber between the heckstut and the framing of the gunport. Do you know something about it? Thank you. Rein
Remember that the deck parts of the Hohenzollern model also consisted of large strips of wood. But in that model they bothered to score some lines in these strips to give the impression of deck planking. In both models some of these strips were removable to show the decks underneath the strips: that is impossible to execute with separate deck planks. I don't know if the hold of the Gent-model is empty. As you can imagine, I was not able to have a look inside. Birnie, after removing some of the deck strips, had a good look in the hold and found all kinds of stuff that got lost on the model. He does not give a description of the hold though; he only talks about the frames (he probably means the riders) and the keelson. I tried to look in the hold through the chimney-opening in the lower gundeck, but that opening was covered with cobwebs. Since I couldn't get any light in the hold, I could not see if the kitchen underneath the chimney-opening was present.
About the extra row of bolts next to the gunports in the transom. A thick strip of wood is placed underneath the wing transom and above the cardinals hats. This strip probably runs over the whole width from starboard to port. It is cut by the two ports, so a part behind the sternpost and two parts behind the transom planking remain. The bolts you see are placed in this strip of wood. If you look carefully, you can see this strip (in red) on the first photo I published in this thread. Here's another picture that shows the part behind the sternpost even better.
This particular arrangement with the thick strip of wood directly under the wing transom seems a little unusual. One might think, the hole in the cardinals hat also needs a little strenghening from the inside as in Witsen Pinas.
I have here an excerpt from "Der geöffnete See-hafen", a German book from 1702. You probably know it, its description of 17th century Dutch-type rigging is really great. "Da dann erstlich die Hinter-Steve mit ihren Querbacken durch Deelen von gleicher Dicke inn- und auswendig bedecket und zu gekleidet/jedoch zu jeglicher Seite derselben eine Stück-Porte gelassen wird .../und dieses wird eigentlich der Spiegel des Schiffes genennet ... Gleich über der Steven obersten Quer-Balcken laufen noch krumme/und oben ueberhangende Hoeltzer bey 4 Fuß oder etwas mehr hinauff/ueber welchen ein anderer Quer-balcke geleget/ und das Spatium dazwischen inn- und auswendig wohl gefuttert und bekleidet/damit kein Wasser hinein komme/welches sie die Gelbing oberhalb beim Rohr nennen/weil darunter das Rohr oder Steuer zu stehen kommt... das Loch aber/wo von aussen die Rohr-pinne hinein gehet/wird mit einem Segel-Tuch (bey ihnen ein Brock genannt) rund um wohl versehen/ daß kein Wasser hinein dringen moege." So, protection from the waves from behind is certainly crucial. The Waasdorp drawing strangely shows a very large hole at this place, the Wasa`s may be high enough up from the water. But a Brock is certainly needed, I think. Do you know something about the Gent-model´s gelbing (Gillung, holle wulf). Is it somehow planked or filled up on the inside? Maybe you were able to feel inside with your finger? Van Yk mentions that the narrow outside planks have a small overlapping (ingekeept). I think, that´s also the case on the Vasa.
Another question: The highest richly decorated hackbord (taffrail) has a gilded flower-like carving behind the bird. So I think, this is nothing else but the tail of the bird. The two wings must belong to the boy sitting on the bird. He carries arrows , so he likely represents a cupido. Am I correct? Maybe there is another detail photo. The Akerboom of 1664 (140 vt) NMM PAF 6840 has a nearly identical taffrail.
One more photo request, please. Did you photograph through the four captain´s room windows? There must be the fine decorated bulkhead of the main cabin seen from inside just like the view in the HZ-model. Thank you. Rein
I agree, the thick strip is not described in literature. I'm sure the holes for the boat ropes were strengthened from the inside: the boat was a hefty structure and the forces on the transom must have been considerable.
I know the Geoffnete Seehafen of 1715. I downloaded it some time ago, it's on GoogleBooks. Thanks for the transcript of the 1702-version though. I don't know about the construction of the 'holle wulf' on the model, we Dutch only stick fingers in leaking dikes, not in ship models.
I think we are looking at the wings of the bird not at the wings of the boy. I think the figure is Jupiter. He is usually depicted riding an eagle and throwing lightning flashes. I also think he is a bit more warlike than Cupid. I hope this picture will help to convince you:
And here's the requested picture of the captain's cabin:
The colour scheme is Birnie's. Great similarity with the Hohenzollern-model.
Lots going on here, and I am very grateful for the information being presented on these models! Jules, do you know if it would be possible for us to use a picture of the lower capstan on the Gent model in our upcoming publication of Vasa's capstans? It is a very nice piece of comparanda. We would be happy to use your photo, with credit to both you and the museum.
The lower (main) capstan does not survive from Vasa, so we cannot say very much about it other than some dimensions defined by the mounting. The pawl arrangment is the same as on the Gent model, with a large crosspiece with two buttresses abaft the capstan. The size and geometry of the pawls, which are identical to those on the upper deck capstan, suggest that the main capstan also had whelps. Proportions of the mount suggest that the form was probably similar to the surviving upper gundeck capstan, although there is no way to prove it.
The tiller port in the transom has no obvious evidence of a canvas gasket as mentioned in Der geöffnete See-hafen, but it is more than 4 meters above the waterline and only just large enough for the tiller to swing.
The catholes (hawser holes in the transom, covered by what you gents are called cardinal's hats) have no internal reinforcement, but they do pass through the heavy transom timbering, not just through the planking. The row of bolts just above the catholes on the Gent model are matched by a similar row on Vasa, which hold one of the transom timbers in place (the one that carries the after end of the lower gundeck). There is also a plank between the upper and lower wing transoms, but this may be a result of an xtension of the upper end of the sternpost made during construction.
Rein, the Äpplet (usually called Riksäpplet) which sank in 1676 was built in Stockholm by Sheldon, just as Kronan was (probably on the same building ways on Skeppsholmen). It was his first major ship completed in Swedish service, in the 1660s, and its armament is usually given as 72-76 guns, depending on the year. The model which Sheldon built in 1660 for the king (and which sits in my office now) is sometimes identified as Äpplet, although that association is apocryphal. Some of the ideas that later appeared in Äpplet may be seen in the model, but that is probably as far as it goes.
Of course I am more than willing to let you use the requested picture of the main capstan. I have to ask the museum's approval though. To inform the museum properly: are you going to include the picture in a separate publication about the Vasa-capstans, or will you include the picture in Vasa II? Or both? Just let me know so I can contact Mrs. Baldewijns.
Thanks for the information on Vasa's transom construction and on Riksäpplet.
Thank you for these great photos! Though I do not like the way, Birnie painted the panels; very uniformly, the HZ-model has more dark-light contrast. The structure in the middle of the deck above is a hatch, where a ladder can be put on, isn´t it?
In your photo of the lower gundeck seen through from behind there is a shadow in the deck to the right. Is this also a hatch, or is it a standing knee attached to the sternpost like in the Vasa? After all, "Der geöffnete See-hafen" mentions only 7 hatches in the lower gundeck. I also think, the Vasa´s knee was a special strenghening measure because of the overlong and already narrow sternpost.
One question remains concerning the cabins on the halfdeck. The coachdeck of the Gent-model can be partly removed, and you can see the helmsman`s place from above and the room behind. An additional gunport is in this room, in contrast to the HZ-model, where the whole wall is filled up with sleeping places. Do you have another photo from above, where I can see this port with its gun and the beds around? Isn´t there also an undecorated door to the longroom? And maybe you have photographed into the two gunports on the upper stern above the four captain´s room`s windows. To see into these cabins on the half deck would be really great. Thank you. Rein
The break in the deck beams are not caused by a hatch. I couldn't find a hatch one deck higher, on the quarterdeck. I did find one of the detachable strips of decking there. So probably this deck section was detachable as well. Can't be sure though: I was not allowed to detach that piece of decking. A ladder leading from the cabin to the quarterdeck would be unusual too. For example, the Hohenzollern-model doesn't show one.
The shadow on the foreground of the picture of the lower gundeck, is a hatch cover; not an extra standing knee to support the sternpost. The Hohenzollern-model does not show a hatch in this position, but Witsen describes one for his pinas. The hatch is shown on his drawing of the lower gundeck of his pinas (plate XLII, between page 58 and 59). He describes this hatch as 'het luckjen aen achter de brootkamer', the hatch behind the breadchamber. We know from Van Yk that sometimes a chamber for canonballs was suspended from the gundeck into this breadchamber. A hatch would give direct access to these canonballs, and that would figure in a warship. Dik, in his reconstruction of Zeven Provincien, does not show this hatch though, he placed a standing knee, like the one in VASA.
You're right: the Gent model has an extra gun position on the quarterdeck: seven in stead of six. And this indeed means that some beds got lost. Here's a picture of the seventh gun on the portside. The gun has shifted in its hinges, so it's a bit of centre. By the way: the guns and their carriages are 18th century additions. The beds were removable.
Here's a picture of the door you wanted to see. It is taken from the port in the upper transom, looking forward.
The next picture shows the bed which is in this room, next to the door shown above. This picture is taken through the little dark grey door above the sidegallery on starboard. The same door on the portside can be seen inside the bed. So I guess they wanted to make sure the bed was very well ventilated.
The bed, with the two bedposts, is of almost the same shape as Winter shows in the drawing of the Hohenzollern-model (Tafel IV).
It figures, that the beds are removable in a warship. I always wondered about the room and sleep problem for the officers and their mates with the seventh gunport location. In the Van de Velde drawing those ports are sometimes filled, sometimes not. But some flexibility was obviously possible. Thank you. Rein
I´ve just looked at the interior rooms pictures of the quarter deck a little closer, and now can, I think, sum up a bit. The Gent model apparently has one apartment more there than the HZ-model. The extra small room is for the 7th gunport, and so the following long room is a little shorter. They wanted to have that place free of guns. Is a desk there? Do you also have a view inside the helmman´s room from above? Some sort of compass housing should be there. And there is another thing, which bothered me for a long time: the shape of the captain´s room side galerie doors. In H. Winters drawings it is not clear whether they are total square in shape or rounded on the upper side. Maybe only the ornamation above is carved somewhat rounded. Winters drawings are not that conclusive. Were you able to photograph through the sidegalleries window? That view should show the shape of that door. Thank you! Rein
I prepared a little sketch for you. It's a copy of the Winter plan of the Hohenzollern-model. I included a couple of texts which, I hope, make things clear. Here it is:
The Gent-model shows the same configuration: when you come from the quarterdeck, you enter through one of the entrances and come into the room for the helmsman (room 1). Room 1 has one centered door to room 2; room 2 has one centered door to room 3. Winter indicates the door from room 2 to room 3, but it's not very clear. Luckily I'm in the possession of copies of Winter's original drawings. These are a lot more clearer. In his original drawing Winter includes the hinges of the door: I indicated these in the sketch above. In his original drawing it also is clear what he means with the vertical lines I indicated with a question mark. These are beds. To make a long story short: the configuration of the rooms on the Gent-model is the same as the configuration on the Hohenzollern-model.
In the Gent-model the distance between the mizzen mast and the slot for the helm, is very small. The Hohenzollern-model shows this same small distance. When you ask me, there was not enough space for a binnacle to fit in. You're right, there must have been one though: Allard shows one in this position in his section of a threedecker of the eighties. But, like on the Hohenzollern-model, there wasn't a binnacle present on the Gent-model. We have to turn to the William Rex-model to see one on a model. (Hoving gives some great photo's of this binnacle in the publication of Arent Vos about binnacles in 'Batavia cahier 6', page 60.)
I didn't see any tables or chairs in the rooms.
The doors that lead from the captains cabin to the side galleries, have a rounded top. They have the same shape as the doors on the outside of the galleries. They are also directly behind these doors.
Don't bother to answer my question about in which publication you are going to use the picture of the capstan. I just received an answer from Mrs. Baldewijns of the STAM-museum in Gent: they are ok with you publishing the photo. Looking forward to it.
Many thanks for all this very useful information. Modelmakers (I will later, with more time at my disposal, become one because of your pictures and all the new things I know now) can now fill in all this new pictures and sketches. In German model forums they are often busy with making the HZ-model again and again, thus building the model of a model. The keel of this model has 4 cm breath at most, which on scale would be approximately 3 feet. That never happened, just compare that with the threedecker Vrede 1667. So the floor timbers must also be overproportioned. When you look at the crossection of the main frame, the narrowing of the frame towards the top looks not very smooth. It has about 5,5 inches at the top, which is normal for a ship of this size. This model is also far to broad and too deep in hold (should have a koebrug); example: Gouda 157,5, 38, 14! The floor is slightly s-shaped and rises about 2 feet. Even the Vrede has only 10 inches rise. So the shape of the HZ-model in my opinion has nothing to do with a real ship ever built, but is a personal decision of the maker. He tried things here which he could not do on a real ship. Maybe he thought Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg would be more impressed with such a fat ship model?
From what I see from the photos, the Gent model is better and more reallisticly proportioned. Has it also such a broad keel? That would probably indicate that the maker feared that a thinner model keel could break. Very good in this respect is the Hollandia model, much smaller than HZ. So why not try one of the actually built ships, Reiger, Waasdorp, Steenbergen, Gouda etc. etc. Isn´t the Gouda surprisingly small and low? But she fought well. (Tromps flagship for a short while in the 4-days-battle). If we are lucky with the 1664 certer, there will be additional very useful information. Its main frame is completely different from HZ. A long and broad discussion on the hull lines of the HZ-model which occured so often and mislead so many modelmakers, will hopefully soon be a thing of the past. The hull lines above the scheergang will remain useful.
Another observation, just for braintraining: The Prins Willem model has its greatest breath about 3 feet below the scheergang. That was a feature on the ships at the beginning of the 17th century. Could it be, that the modelbuilder was an old sailor, who served on the Prins Willem, but also remembered the ships from his youth? So nobody should probably copy the lines in Herman Ketting´s book. The van Yk certer of 1629 is far better to go. Just a thought.
So, only one room remains: the topgallant roundhouse. Did you open the heavily decorated door and photograph inside? That would be great. I suppose, there`s not much in there, maybe a bed on the wall as Winter indicated. There will be no panels on the backfront or elsewhere, but maybe a part of the cross to see with which they strenghened the upper stern. Vasa has even two of them because of its height. And the base of the big flagstaff should also be there. Do you have an indication that the bench in the backfront of the captain´s room beneath the 4 windows is present on the Gent-model? Luckily Witsen described this bench in detail. The Winter sketch gives us nearly nothing in this respect. I also think the floor of this room is drawn too low here were it touches the hackboard. The floor of the gallerie ended in about the middle of the first hackbord (Van Yk). Thank you! Rein
I am glad that all this turned you into a model maker. I hope to see your work in the near future.
To return to the Hohenzollern-models lines for one more time: Winter's drawings show a hull shape that has nothing to do with the actual hull shape of the model. A telltale token for this is the shape of the transom: rendered completely wrong in the drawings. When we look at all the photographs of the model, not just the ones Winter shows in his book, we see a classic Dutch shape: flat and with a low hanging belly. So there's nothing wrong with the model, there's something wrong with the plans. When you read about the measuring methods Winter uses, you would think that nothing can go wrong: the methods are excellent. Probably someone failed in the registration of the measured values, resulting in a wrong plan. As mentioned before: the original Winter drawings exist, these give other lines. I still have to check these in depth. Others have done that already, and say that using the original lines results in almost the same lines as the book drawings show. When I have done my homework on the originals, I will get back to you... if you want me to.
I did not measure the width of the keel of the Gent-model. About your remarks on the weakness of the keels of models: the keel of the Gent-model was broken and Birnie had to repair it. Someone in the past decided to no longer support the keel, but put stands on the hull itself. The result, after decades probably, was that the keel bent upward and broke, and that the framing of the hull near the supports broke as well. Birnie placed the model on a new stand: supporting the newly straightened keel.
Take care with the Hollandia-model of the Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam. It was altered a lot by its previous owner: mister Crone. The shape of the beakhead has been changed, and even the number of ports on the lower gundeck has been increased to make it look more like Hollandia.
I agree totally: we should concentrate more on building 'new' models. Do your own research and come up with some new stuff. When you're considering Gouda as your next model, someone has beaten you to it. Mister Davies-Garner, living in Germany, has done research on her and started a model of her. I think he stopped building after finishing the hull. I also have other dimensions on Gouda than the ones you mention: 157,5x41,5x15,25 (from the Admiralty's list of 1672). Be carefull with the dimensions Vreugdenhil mentions: they are not always right; still everyone copies them.
I haven't really looked into the Prins Willem model. What I do know though, is that Ketting thought it necessary to add a forecastle deck which the original model lacks. He probably thought the deck got lost, and he probably was not aware that ships without forecastle decks were common as muck.
I have to disappoint you on the topgallant roundhouse, the dog kennel, I couldn't open the door of it. It probably was jammed. We have to take Winter's represantation of its interior for granted. I guess you're right about your guesses about what we can see there: the upper part of the support cross and the vertical base for the flag staff support; Witsen shows this in detail (plate XL, between page 58 and 59).
I am sorry, but I have no idea if a bench was present beneath the windows in the captain's cabin; I simply could not see in there. It is very probable that the bench was present though. Allard shows it in his aforementioned section of the threedecker and luckily Witsen is very clear in his description of it (Plate XLI, between p. 58 and 59, 'Kajuyts banck'). Other sources are the interiors of yachtmodels. Have a look at a drawing of the interior of a states yacht by Petrejus in his 'Oude zeilschepen en hun modellen', page 140.
I think you're right in saying that the upper gun deck is drawn too low in the Winter drawing. It should probably end on the break where the 'holle wulf' touches the 'bolle wulf'.
Here, as a bonus, is a picture of the bulkhead that is still missing in your collection. It is the bulkhead underneath the quarter deck, showing the two doors to the captain's cabin; the mizzen mast in front of the bulkhead, the whipstaff between the bulkhead and the mast. In front of all that, the stairs to the quarter deck. The rope in the front, is the rope attached to the bitts behind the main mast.
A great photo of the bulkhead! It reveals, that the model took quite a beating during its lifetime. The broken keel, you mentioned; and the carved doorposts are missing except the one to the right. From what I see it looks quite like the ones H. Winter shows. Mr. Birnie had a really hard job in restoring the model. On the left we can see the opening in the deck where Winter shows us the ladder down to the gun room bulkhead. The two clamps with the wheel in attached on the edge of the rooster he shows are not there in our model. I wonder what function they had. The stairs look a little simple in comparison to HZ. Strangely they rest already inside the rooster. The door to the right has a device for knocking on! The two deckbeams closing in the whipstaff are more ornamented/profiled than the others. I guess such a profiling is one of the meanings of the word "vlecking" (1664 certer); Witsen: Vlerkingh - planks of the broodkammer; on the wing transom the vlecking is the small hollowed part above the sponung of the spiegel-planks. So: hollowing or sloping off an edge or putting a sponung on. Rooms where food or ammunition is stored are surely sensible and need strenghened (overlapping) walls. From what I saw on the Vasa, however, those rooms in the hold seem to have only "normal" planks attached. On GM the planks of the beakhead bulkhead and the captain´s room look like this way.
Two views of the gundeck are still missing in my "collection". Have you photographed into the bow gunport? That would give me a view of the so-called "pissback" or the foremast foot. The other thing I´d like to see is the chimney over the kitchen. Is there also a view of the right captain´s cabin door with the remaining ornamented doorpost? Thank you. Rein