Ship Graffiti

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  • #20850
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    A query from @HoldTony on Twitter –

    This ship is carved into the gatepost of the chateau at Ranville, Normandy. Any suggestions as to its identity and date?

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    #20852
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    This was posted I believe in response to our recent piece for our maritime art archive which draws attention to similar ship graffiti at Brouage:

    The soldiers and sailors who garrisoned Brouage left memorials in the form of graffiti crudely done with the knife on many of the stones. They are particularly numerous in two places. The Porte du Sud; much of this gate has been pulled down, but on its ruins we find rough graffiti of weapons, harness, horses’ heads, fortifications, regimental names and badges. Under the vault of the Porte Royale, which opens on to the former quay through the middle bastion of the northern curtain, we see graffiti carved by the sailors. Rough though all these carvings are, they are evidently the work of men who were familiar with ships.

    Brouage and its “Graffiti”

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    #20861
    Nicholas Blake
    Participant

    The Ranville ship is, if accurate, built in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, or possibly a little earlier, similar to the ship with the white bottom attached (a model of the Duke, launched in 1777). The other image is the Howe, launched 1815; she has a flatter sheer, which provides a reasonable end date. The indicators are the masts, sheer, and closed stern, though the graffito has far too few ports for a real ship of that size presumably because they would be too small to carve out. Although both photos are of British ships, the differences between them and French ship are too small to matter for a graffito. It’s to stylised to provide clues to a real ship.

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    #20863
    Nicholas Blake
    Participant

    Here is the Howe.

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