I've been to the STAM-museum in Gent (Belgium) yesterday. They allowed me to take a lot of pictures of the beautiful 17th century ship model they keep in depot there. Mrs. Baldewijns of the museum was so kind to arrange all this and she made sure the model was removed from the wooden box it has been living in since 2009. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity since the model was only available for one day. Today the box will be closed again for indefinite time. I still have a lot of post production work to do, but thought it would be nice to share one of the 'rough' pictures here. Enjoy!
The model is quite big. It measures 265 centimeters from stem to stern. The scale has been described as being 1:16. I personally think it is 1:16,5 because that translates to 1 inch to 1,5 foot. The 1:16,5 scale results in a ship length of approximately 155 feet.
Shel, I will post some more pictures of details of this model every now and then. Just to keep you motivated. If you want to see other details, just let me know what details and I will post them here.
These pictures are real treasures, Jules Thanks for sharing it. Do you know more about the ship? Name, when it was built ...
It weares the colors of Groningen. Was this the name of the ship? Robinson mentions two ships with this name. Both had 48 guns The first was built 1641 for Amsterdam, the second 1666 for Friesland But both desriptions do not realy match with the model.
The figurehead has a very nice design. It looks like it is carved together with the cutwater (Scheg) from one piece. Maybe you have more pictures of it from different angles?
Identification of the model by the weapon shield on the breast of the double headed eagle, is not the way to go. The model has been restored in 1988-1990. After this restoration the model had a shield in other colors: red shield with a black stripe. The restorer, mister Birnie, was convinced that the eagle represented the Austrian eagle and executed the restoration accordingly. He moved the existing sword from the left hand side to the right hand side of the eagle and made a scepter for the left hand side of the eagle. The picture below represents the weapon in that guise.
Later, for some unknown reason, the sword and scepter were removed and the weapon was painted in the colors of Groningen. I am trying to contact mister Birnie to get the reason for the change. As soon as I have figured it out, I will let you know.
Since the weapon shield probably does not depict the name of the ship, identification of the model is not easy. In 1913 Crone says he is still studying on it, but thinks this is a model of the Pacificatie of the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier. Problem is: he does not state why he thinks so.
I found a weapon shield on the model that represents the crossed anchors and the three P’s (Pugno Pro Patria) of the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier. This probably put Crone on the trace of a ship of this Admiralty.
Since the model appears to be from the 1660’s or early 1670’s, I checked which ships of these dimensions were built at this period in the Noorderkwartier. Pacificatie (or Gedwongen Vrede) is one of them. A ships list of 1670 mentions the Pacificatie as follows (translated): Pacificatio, made Ao. 1665. Long from stem to stern 160, wide 40, depth 14,5, above 7,75 feet. Number of guns: 76. It generally is thought that the model is built to scale 1:16 and the length of the ship would have been 150 or 155 foot. The Pacificatie is larger: 160 foot.
When we count the number of gun ports of the model we arrive at: 26 for the lower gundeck, 26 for the upper gundeck, 20 for the half deck (14) and the forecastle (6) and 4 for the cabin deck. A total of 76. This complies with the number of guns we found for the Pacificatie.
Another characteristic element of the model is that the channels are in a higher position: one deck higher than usual. This is a ‘modern’ element that came about at around 1666. Birnie, who restored according to the model of the Hollandia at the Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam, thought this was a mistake made during the 19th century restoration of the model. I don’t think so: a change like this would have left some serious damage to the model, damage I did not find.
Another characteristic element: the double long counterrails (slingerlijsten) at the stern. The upper ‘slingerlijst’ is usually shorter than the bottom one.
All in all: I still have to check if this really is the Pacificatie. Help, of course, is welcome.
Sorry, the rigging is not original. In a 19th century restoration the rigging was changed to the 19th century practice: e.g. the round tops and the caps were removed and changed for 19th century models. Birnie changed most of the rigging back to the 17th century practice and used the Hollandia-model at the Scheepvaartmuseum as a reference to do so. He did not change the tops and caps though. Since the Hollandia-model was rerigged as well, this model is not the thing to go by.
The best example for this period of the 17th century is still the photo-set that is left of the Hohenzollern-model that was bombed to smithereens during WWII. Winter did a great job publishing his photo’s of the model and some other photo’s of the model can be found in other books.
The same goes for the painting of the model. It is not the original paint we are looking at. In the 19th century the model was painted in the horizontal black and white paint scheme that was characteristic for that period. The model was turned into a strange anachronistic item: a warship with the sheer of the 17th century in the colors of the 19th century. This was the color scheme of the model when Birnie started his restoration in 1988. The colors we are looking at now, are the colors Birnie applied.
Still, the model is of great value. The hull shows remarkable detail and the interior is present as well. Since we lost the Hohenzollern-model, and the hull of the Hollandia-model is changed to make it look more like the Hollandia, this is the only reliable 17th century Dutch model of this period that is left.
Thanks Jules! Sorry to hear that the rigging was not original, but that is pretty typical.
The model called Amaranth in the Sjöhistoriska Museum in Stockholm is of similar date, and its rigging was also restored in the early 20th century. Fortunately, the original bits were saved, and now reside in my office as reference material. Would have been nice to have seen it before it was rerigged!
I'm sure the STAM-museum is not in the posession of the original rigging anymore, can't help you there. Maybe some remains of the original rigging can be found on the model. I can imagine that a restorer would keep the channels with the original deadeyes: too much trouble to change all that. And going from that, maybe the shrouds were kept as well.
Here's an example of the main channel of the Gent-model. Hope it is of some value for you.
How big is your office? You seem to be able to keep models and rigging there. I didin't know the original Amaranth-rigging was kept. Hagg did a good job saving it! Would be very interesting to have a look at this. Is there a way to obtain pictures of it?
Hi, this is for you, Jules! I have Heinrich Winters book about the Hohenzollern-model, which was destroyed in Worldwar II, and i love the many black-and-white fotos in there! But black and white Fotos hide as much details, as they reveal. Can you please post some photos of the 3 bulkheads of the Gent-model, the beakhead bulkhead and the two upper ones? As you may know, the Berlin model has no beakhead bulkhead at all. Winter also mentions glasses in the 2 windows between the 2 doors of the upper bulkhead in front of the mizzen mast. Are there such glasses in the gent model, too? I would be pleased to find out. Thank you!
I agree with you, The Hohenzollern-model is a great source for the understanding of shipbuilding in the 17th century. We have to thank Winter for taking the trouble to take the photo's and publish the book. It's a shame though he didn't do a better job on determining the lines of the hull of the model. But that's a whole different story. To your questions.
The missing beakhead bulkhead from the Hohenzollern model, has led to some heated discussions. Some say the bulkhead is not missing at all, it simply wasn't there in the first place. I tend to disagree. I tried to find ships without a bulkhead, but couldn't find any.
I am not sure what you mean with the 'two upper one' bulkheads, so I included pictures of all the bulkheads, all five of them.
About the glazing of the windows in the bulkhead in front of the mizzen mast in the Gent-model: they were not glazed. I am a bit surprised that Winter describes these windows as being glazed in the Hohenzollern model. You are right though, Winter describes them as being glazed (page 27, I: "Unmittelbar hinter dem hier verglasten Schott..."), but I think the glass can not be seen in 'Abbildung 18' and 'Abbildung 12'. I also think the windows are too big to cover with one pane of glass. I think glass of that size was not available at that time. Unluckily, neither the Gent-model nor the Hohenzollern-model contains the windows in the stern, so we are not able to determine how the glazing was done in these type of ships by these two models. Luckily the Van de Veldes help, they show these windows in many of their drawings and paintings: leaded glass windows with small panes of glass. I am sure that, if the windows in the bulkhead were glazed, these type of windows would be used, not windows with one single pane of glass. And, given the detail of the Hohenzollern model, these are what the model builder would have represented: leaded glass windows. Another question would be why the windows had to be closed with glass at all. To protect the helmsman from the weather? The doorways next to these windows contain no doors, so the bulkhead was very open anyway.
Many thanks to you, Jules! As a little gift let me share my thoughts about the Gent-model with you. First, do not try to connect this type of very big and very detailed model to any actually build ship. That was not the case. That notion was widespread in the first half of the 20th century and was also shared by Heinrich Winter. It lead to the total destruction of the so-called Hollandia-model through the hands of Mr. C. Crone, who owned it back then. I agree with Ab Hoving, who stated that the Hohenzollern-model was a gift to the Elector of Brandenburg (Hoving, William Rex, Rijksmuseum Dossiers). So these big models basically serve two main functions: They can be presents to some nobleman or possible businesspartner or destined for an assembly chamber or another room. (William Rex-model). I have Carr Laughton´s Book "Old Ships Figureheads and Sterns", first published in 1925. It shows the stern of the gent-model with all the carvings gilded exactly like the Hohenzollern-model. This ist indeed fitting for a showpiece or a present for a high ranked person. On a real ship there was polychromy. So Mr. Birnie did a bad job with painting over the gilding. He apparently shared this wrong notion. Only the coat-of-arms are painted in the correct colours in these models (Hohenzollern, William Rex, Gent).In the old Carr-photo the coat-of-arms is totally black. Birnie overpainted and altered it for the same wrong reason. As for the "Pacificatie", just visit the webside of the National Maritime Museum London: Collections - Willem van de Velde - Pacificatie. There ist a drawing, which clearly shows this particular ship with a jumping Lion on the Stern and no double moulding or slingerlijst.
Another thought: Was the Gent-model also destined for a particular room (between two doors maybe??)just like the William Rex? When you look at the scale 1:16 and 1:13 (WR), the Hohenzollern-model had 1:21 or 22. That sounds like a real build-to-scale-model (1 Amsterdam foot = 11 inches), and therefore also a different function (a gift). Of course this is just my speculation. Again, many thanks!