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Napoleonic Prisoner Of War Bone Ship Model

Bone ship models made by French and Dutch prisoners captured and held by the British during the Napoleonic Conflict are a most intricate artform of ship modeling.  Such models are among the most valuable collectibles of maritime artifacts.  This very nicely detailed “Man-O-War” features all of the appropriate fittings and riggings.  Flying the requisite Jack at the head, Navy ensign at the rear, and commissioning pennant from her main mast.  A very intriguing characteristic of this ship is the painting of both the British and French flags on the stern.

One can’t help but marvel at the construction of these wartime models.  Prisoners would keep animal bones from their meal rations as their primary modeling material. Then any scraps of fabric, string, wood, or even hair would be used also. Models were created entirely from memory or experiences on such ships.  Finally, all of this most likely while sitting in dim light on the floor of a rocking ship.  Fascinating.

This impressive Man-O-War bone model has upwards of 80 cannons and rests on small bone supports atop a wood base and with glass cover.

Model:  17″ H x 24″ L x 9″ W

Case:   22″H x 26″L x 10″ W

Circa 1890


SKU: BALA 329P $13,500
If you are interested in similar items, please contact us through our website or phone the Renaissance Showroom at 805-688-1976, open seven days a week from 10 to 6.
  • European Bone “Man O War” Ship Model
  • Bone and wood
  • British Union Flag, Naval Ensign, and Commissioning Pennant
  • 3 Masts
  • 80+ cannons
  • On Wood Base with Inlays
  • Glass Dome
  • 17″ H x 24″ L x 9″ W,  Model
  • 22″H x 26″L x 10″ W,  Case
  • Circa 1820