Prisoner of War - Bone Ship models in the International Maritime Museum Hamburg

Uwek

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#1
The collection of prisoner of war / bone ship models in the International Maritime Museum, Hamburg (IMMH) is a very impressive collection.
It is the largest collection of bone ships displayed in a museum anywhere in the world.

The bone ship model collection of Peter Tamm that has grown over decades is outstanding for its diversity.
It ranges from smaller models such as one 16.5 cm in length to the 144 cm long USS CHESAPEAKE.

The collection is documented in a beautiful book with title Prisoner of War: Bone Ship Models - Treasures from the Age of Napoleonic Wars
written by Manfred Stein

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Synopsis:
During 1792-1815, the period of the Coalition Wars and the Napoleonic Wars between France and Europe, prisoners were taken on both sides. The majority of them were confined, sometimes for many years, in England and Scotland. Some of the prisoners built ship models from scraps of wood or mutton and beef bones. Rigging was made of silk or whatever other fine material could be obtained. The prisoners developed an art form and the models were sold to the public through the guards. This trade enabled the prisoner to acquire ivory and special tools to make the models all the more decorative. The remain highly sought after and valuable collectors' items to this day. This book shows the beauty of the models selected as the finest in the Peter Tamm Collection in the International Maritime Museum of Hamburg.

Here the photos I made during my visit

A scene is showing how it could have looked like when prisoners made these models
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This is the famous golden ship model of the Santa Maria next to the entrance of the bone ship exhibition area - Completely built from gold and platinum

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Now the models
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epicdoom

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#2
Would love to see this in person. When I was stationed in Germany I wasn't into things like this drinking was the order of the day. I did go to the Black Forrest quite a few times, but other then that spent most of my free time drinking. Its unfortunate as I missed a lot of things that are Important to me now, but I have only myself to blame. What I saw of the Country was Beautiful the People Friendly. I have a little German Blood flowing through my veins on my fathers side. I picked up Dutch Irish German and Italian my mother A full blooded Cherokee Indian. Maybe someday before I leave this life I will have the chance to come back for a visit.
 

Peglegreg

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#3
Amazing model.
I might start collecting my soup bones for a future model. I don't think so. It's very interesting how some craftsmen can make these models from just bones.
Happybonemodeling to everyone
Greg
 

epicdoom

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#4
Amazing model.
I might start collecting my soup bones for a future model. I don't think so. It's very interesting how some craftsmen can make these models from just bones.
Happybonemodeling to everyone
Greg
We Human beings are amazing life forms all that's needed is a desire to create and we will find a way to use what's at hand for the task. When I researched Ships in Bottles many moons ago I found that Sailors would use just about anything to create the ships, sails and rigging Ships were carved from Shivers of wood from the ship, bones, Cask and crate wood. Sails from Paper, sail cloth and even undergarments, Rigging line from separating clothing fibers, plant material and even human and animal hair. My signature Below came into my head after reading such stories. We are Amazing Beings Capable of anything we set our minds to doing.
 

Aginvicta

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#5
Having grown up near the River's Medway and Thames where a lot of Prison Hulks were moored during the Napoleonic wars I have seen some Bone Model ships that were made by French POWs in museums at Maidstone and Rochester. They are amazing considering they were made using a basic knife and no plans or diagrams, built purely from memory. Given the harsh conditions the POWs were kept in I wonder would any of us be able to produce something like this I know I couldn't. Thanks for posting this Uwe,
Cheers Andy
 

ron0909

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#6
I wasn't as impressed with the gold and platinum as I was the bone. Imagine scouting out the bones with the 'just so perfect' curvature to them to form all of the pieces needed. How they drilled the holes for pegs, shaved the planks and on and on. And I whine trying to figure out a few angles bending basswood for Granado's stern! Once more Uwek, you raise the bar just another 10 notches be it for your builds or the ones you share :)
 
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