HMS Victory (1765 - still active) / 104-gun Ship of the Line - original appearance

Uwek

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#1
This thread is dedicated to the HMS Victory in her original appearance, so with time we should sum up here all information about the original version of the famous HMS Victory launched in 1765
In this post I want to share information about the original figure-head


This is like we know the actual figurehead
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The figurehead represented the character of the whole ship. A great amount of care and expense was given to its design and construction. The figurehead at launch was very elaborate. In 1803 it was found to be very rotten and replaced with a much simpler design. You can see a scale replica of the original in the Victory Gallery. The current figurehead is a modern replica of the one carried at Trafalgar. It was fitted in 1992, but removed in 2009 because of its poor condition. This demonstrates the challenge of caring for wooden structures left out in the wind and rain.

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from 2009


A quarter-scale replica of the elaborate figurehead fitted to Victory when she was first launched. Port (left) side and Starboard (right).
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In the National Maritime Museum is also a model in scale 1:24 of the Victory figurehead available
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Scale approx. 1:24. Model of the original figurehead on HMS 'Victory' (1765), a first-rate 100-gun warship. It has been carved from several pieces of wood which have been glued together to form one figurehead. It is topped by a shoulder length bust intended to represent George III in armour, wearing a laurel-leaf crown though it does not resemble him either in the 1760s or later. ( It more closely resembles his uncle Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, who died in October 1765 aged 44). He wears a medallion on a ribbon with a St George cross for England, which may be a carver's simplification of the St George badge of the Garter mentioned in the original specification. Below is a shield with the Union flag surrounded by putti representing the four winds. Behind the bust and shield are two large female figures (Britannia to starboard and Victory to port) sitting on brickwork/castellated mounts, supported by figures representing the four continents. Behind the heads of these two figures are smaller, winged figures of Peace and Fame with a male lion beneath Fame, and a crowned and wreathed shield with a royal coat of arms beneath Peace. On the lower front edges, are two mythological/classical creatures: one appears to be a double-headed dragon, the other a female figure or creature. Both have parts missing. Two standing putti complete the lower part of the figurehead and are holding the horn of plenty and a globe. There are several parts missing from the model, such as hands, faces, feet, foliage and wings. The very detailed specification for the original figurehead survives and is printed in both the 'Mariner's Mirror' (Journal of the Society for Nautical Research, vol. 8, p. 281) and by L.G. Carr Laughton in 'Old Ship Figure-heads and Sterns' (London 1925), pp. 80-81. In June 1765 the Navy Board reviewed the original estimate for the figurehead and carved work and marked down the price paid for a clay model of the head from £20 to £15. That model is no longer known, or who made it. At that point the Chichley family had been at Chatham and Sheerness as carvers since 1713, with Richard and Elizabeth Chichley listed solely on the Sheerness books, 1764-70, and William Savage in partnership with Elizabeth there, 1770-77: he alone remained at Sheerness to 1783. There is a long tradition that Savage carved the figurehead of 'Victory', which he may have done in whole or part since certainly brought in to assist them on work for the ship in 1765-66 (see P.N. Thomas, 'British figurehead and ship carvers', 1995, p. 98). However, whether he made the clay model, or this copy - either from the model or the finished head, since the ship remained in reserve at Chatham until first fitted for sea in 1777 - are not known. The previous dating of this wooden model as a record item made by Savage when the head itself was replaced by a much simpler one (as today) in 'Victory's' great repair of 1800-03 now seems to be based on so-far unproved assumption. It is unlikely that Savage was then still active or alive to make it, and if of that date the maker is otherwise unknown. However, the possibility that it may be a record copy made at that time is perhaps supported by the Union flag of the central shield, which shows it apparently with the St Patrick saltire of Ireland, only added in 1801.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/68489.html#UC6PZWEOXfjQoUYF.99
 

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Uwek

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#2
Another model of the National Maritime Museum which shows the Vic


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Scale: 1:180. A skeleton model of the ‘Victory’ (1765), a 100-gun, three-decker ship of the line. The model is depicted on the slipway under construction. Although the model has not been positively identified, the dimensions agree with those of the ‘Victory’. See also SLR0514, SLR0516 and SLR0520.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66476.html#T1IPlSFp3MpXyheu.99

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and a block Overall model: 415 x 1450 x 165 mm; Backboard: 488 x 1553 x 21 mm

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HMS Victory (1765); Warship; First rate; 100 guns (SLR0517)
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66478.html#1Ft2x2Ito5MdvWJr.99
Scale: 1:48. A contemporary(?) half block design model of the HMS Victory (1765), a first rate, 100 gun three-decked ship of the line.
Date made circa 1800-03(?)
 

Uwek

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#3
SLR0516 - Overall model: 584 x 776 x 288 mm; Base: 55 x 486 x 181 mm
Date made - Late 19th century - early 20th century

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Scale: 1:120. A full hull model of the ‘Victory’ (1765), a 100-gun, three-decker ship of the line. The model is decked, equipped and rigged and depicts it as it appeared about 1795. This model, reputed to be of wood from the actual ship, was probably made in the late 19th century or early 20th century. It shows the original figurehead which was removed during the ‘large repair’ of 1800–03, but has the channels above the upper deck guns, a change apparently made at the same time. The rigging, with the old-fashioned mizzen yard and the recently introduced ‘dolphin striker’, is of the same period. See also SLR0514, SLR0515 and SLR0520.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66477.html#dvAo1hOeD7qcF3GO.99

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Metal rectangular plaque for the full hull model of the ‘Victory’ (1765), a 100-gun, three-decker ship of the line.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/546434.html#Gdza3TGORLIPWv1Z.99
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and SLR0512 - Overall model: 470 x 1075 x 250 mm; Slipway base: 105 x 1280 x 480 mm
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66473.html#uBuHwOZj82ptDRW5.99
Date made - Mid-18th century

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Scale: 1:60. A model of H.M.S Victory (1765) made entirely in wood that has been painted in realistic colours with metal fittings. The vessel is shown in a launching cradle on a slipway. The hull is painted white below the waterline with a closed black wale above. The remainder of the hull is varnished, and laid in individual planks. There are three gun decks and all the gunports are depicted in an open position, the inner faces of the gunport lids are painted red as are the insides of the gunports themselves. A decorative frieze is painted on a blue ground that runs the entire length of the hull just above main deck level. The figurehead is finely carved depicting George III, allegorical figures and a Union flag on the starboard side. Other bow details include a pair of whisker booms, a pair of catheads, one large admiralty pattern anchor, and one small anchor. The model does not have any masts but instead has three launching flag poles. Foredeck fittings include a bell and belfry, stove chimney, and a forward launching flag pole. The waist has been closed in and four beams support a ship’s boat equipped with a number of red-painted oars. Beneath the boat on the main deck are two sets of gratings. The upper deck fittings include the ship's double wheel painted red, and two companion ways that provide access to the poop deck. The poop deck fittings include a rectangular skylight, launching flag pole, hammock stowage rails, and provision for an ensign jack staff. The stern and quarter galleries, of which two are open, are elaborately carved and painted, and glazed in mica. The launching cradle and slipway is realistically depicted and there are six stabiliser poles attached to the port and starboard stern quarters and the sides of the slipway.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66473.html#uBuHwOZj82ptDRW5.99

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Uwek

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#4
SLR0514 - Overall model: 340 x 1090 x 304 mm; Base: 22 x 1069 x 305 mm
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66475.html#xDcIy57fylO4sOZp.99
Date made - Early 19th century

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Scale: 1:60. A full hull model of the ‘Victory’ (1765), a 100-gun, three-decker ship of the line. The model is decked. Judging by its style and finish, this model would appear to be an early 19th-century example of the ‘Victory’ as built in 1765. It was originally in the Admiralty collection at Somerset House. Built at Chatham, the ‘Victory’ measured 186 feet in length (gun deck) by 52 feet in the beam, displacing 2162 tons burden. It was armed with thirty 32-pounders on the gun deck, twenty-eight 24-pounders on the middle deck, thirty 12-pounders on the upper deck, twelve 12-pounders on the quarterdeck, two 12-pounders on the forecastle and two 68-pounder carronades. The ‘Victory’, the flagship of Vice-Admiral Nelson at Trafalgar, is probably the best known of all the Royal Navy’s warships. This was the fifth incarnation of the name, and was built at Chatham and launched in 1765. It was not commissioned until 1778 and first served as Admiral Keppel’s flagship in an indecisive battle with the French off Ushant in the same year. It saw much service both in the American Revolutionary War (1775–82) and in the Revolutionary War with France (1793–1801). In 1803 it became Nelson’s flagship in the Mediterranean and carried him in his pursuit of Admiral Villeneuve across the Atlantic. It then took Nelson from Portsmouth to join, and take command of, Vice-Admiral Collingwood’s fleet that was watching the combined Franco-Spanish fleet at Cadiz in October 1805. During the subsequent battle off Cape Trafalgar, Nelson was mortally wounded by a bullet while standing on the upper deck. ‘Victory’ next served in the Baltic as the flagship of Admiral Saumarez and was withdrawn from active service in 1812. Taken to Portsmouth, it was selected as the permanent, and stationary, flagship of the commander-in-chief there, lying at moorings in the harbour. In 1922, under pressure from the Society for Nautical Research, it was brought into No. 2 Dry Dock, Chatham, where it was restored and re-rigged to its state at Trafalgar. See also SLR0515, SLR0516 and SLR0520.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66475.html#xDcIy57fylO4sOZp.99

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For comparison to the version after the "extensive refit" in 1803, prior Trafalgar
SLR0513 - Overall model: 400 x 1420 x 340 mm; Base: 70 x 1520 x 383 mm
Date made - Circa 1805


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Scale: 1:48. A contemporary full hull model of the Victory (1765), a 100 gun first rate, three-decker ship of the line. Model is decked. Depicted after extensive refit (her so-called "large repair") completed in 1803, prior to the Battle of Trafalgar. Model also shows further modifications which were proposed after Trafalgar which were not carried out.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66474.html#FpqG1fuHOxO5IYE6.99

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