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  1. un blason 'royaliste' jusqu'en 92/93 - Not until 1793 but until the second half of 1792. As long as the constitutional monarchy lasted there was no reason to remove the royal escutcheon. But then it would undoubtedly have been removed quickly, for political reasons. transformé alors dans sa version républicaine jusqu'à la bataille du 1 juin 1794 - Changed after the abolition of the monarchy, just by removing the crown and lilies and replacing them by a helmet and tricolour escutcheon. A relatively simple procedure, I'd say. So far, I could not find any indication that this design was replaced by a completely new figurehead after the battle of 1st June 1794. puis remplacé, au cours de l'année, par une figure allégorique révolutionnaire. Les combats ont pu l'abîmer. Et les figures allégoriques étaient à la mode. - I do not know exactly what you mean. As mentioned, I know nothing of a change of the figurehead at that time. I know nothing of a demolition or loss of the figurehead in battle. De Loutherbourg's sketch which seems to show a warrior figurehead apparently was a preliminary study for the painting. He seems to have noted that it was incorrect and changed it for the figurehead already described above (however, one detail may still be erroneous. According to the catalogue Maquettes de la Marine Impériale. Collection du Musée de la Marine à Trianon, p. 89., a Phrygian cap replaced the Royal arms - I understand that the Phyrgian cap replaced the crown which topped the escutcheon. So, instead of a helmet a Phrygian cap may have topped the escutcheon, as with the Commerce de Marseille). Puis en 1795, changement de nom (Le Peuple puis L'Océan) et nouvelle figure de proue (à moins que ce ne soit la même) : le titan Océan (?). - According to Demerliac there was a first refit of the ship in 1797 but according to Luc-Marie Bayle / Jacques Mordal, La Marine en bois, p.109, Océan just remained inactive from 1797 to 1799, and the first important refit took place in 1804/05 (same statement in the catalogue Maquettes de la Marine Impériale. Collection du Musée de la Marine à Trianon, p. 86). So the figurehead could have been replaced only then or, at the earliest, in 1797. Definitely, there would have been no need to replace the helmet and tricolour escutcheon design for political reasons in 1795 as France remained a Republic after 1795 and the Tricolour was still its national flag. It would have suited a Peuple or an Océan equally well as it had suited La Montagne before. Anyway, in 1795, Le Peuple was at sea when it was decided to rebaptise it Océan, and it returned to Brest only at the beginning of 1797, for which reason it is unlikely that any kind of new figurehead could have been mounted before that date. The Trianon model which has a Neptune (Maquettes ..., p.89) as a figurehead was originally made c. 1787-1790 but then it would have displayed the Royal arms as a figurehead. Its present state is due to a substantial reworking of the model in 1810/11, on which occasion its appearance was brought into line with the 1806/07 specifications for this type of ship. So, what we see today is the ship as it looked like after the 1804/05 refit, including the figurehead. Again, I've not seen any definite evidence so far that the Neptune-figurehead had already been mounted before this 1804/05 refit but it's possible, of course.
  2. A most detailed account on the ship, referring also to the dimensions not only of the hull but also of the masts and yards, etc., can be found in the above mentioned book by Patrick Villiers (La Marine de Louis XVI, I. de Choiseul à Sartine), pp. 362-370. It includes a drawing of the ship ornaments (stern and quarter galleries only) made by Caffieri in 1766 (destined for the ship as refitted for the navy; they differ from the ornaments of the model), and two representations of a plan of the refitted ship as kept in the Danish National Archives (in black and white). The plan is not signed but was made by either Groignard - who had revised the plan for the refit of the ship - or Ollivier - who was responsible for the execution of the refit). Also included are photos of the model of Le Vengeur. This model is from the Musée de la Marine, Paris, and represents the ship as it had been designed by Groignard for the Compagnie des Indes in 1756. The dimensions of the ship as planned in 1755 were: longueur 150 pieds, largeur 40 pieds, creux 19 pieds 6 pouces. However, the dimensions of the ship actually built in 1756 were: Longueur étrave-étambot, de rablure en rablure: 158 pieds (51,32m) Largeur au maître bau, en dehors des membres: 41 pieds 6 p. (13,48m) Creux au maître bau: 20 pieds 6 p. (6,66m) The plan of the refitted ship as kept in the Danish National Archives shows that the length was to be extended to 162 pieds. However, a report of Brest engineers dated 1775 says: "Le Vengeur a 166 pieds de longueur et 41 pieds 6 pouces de bau", which means it was even more extended than originally planned. The article by Boudriot about the Musée de la Marine model is in Neptunia N° 152 (not N° 38), 4e trimestre décembre 1983, pp.1-8. BTW, some people are unable even today to distinguish the 64-gun ship Le Vengeur from the 74-gun ship Le Vengeur du Peuple, ex-Le Marseillois. In the recently published Osprey title on "The Glorious First of June 1794" by a certain Mark Lardas, the Musée de la Marine model is sold to the reader as a representation of Le Vengeur du Peuple (p.27) ... Demerliac has the following information on the Cie des Indes Vengeur (La Marine de Louis XV. Nomenclature des navires français de 1715 à 1774, p. 163, N°. 1785): Port: 1399 tonneaux Déplacement en charge: 2300 tx Longueur: 158' (Quille: 146') x Largeur: 40' 6" x Creux: 17' 6", Tirant d'eau: 19'/21' And on the navy Vengeur (ibid., p. 47, N°. 294): Port: 1250 tonneaux Déplacement en charge: 2350 tx Longueur: 162' (Quille: 150'?) x Largeur: 41' 6" x Creux: 21', Tirant d'eau: 19' 3 "/20' 9"
  3. As mentioned by someone in your second link ("here"), the figurehead of the Superbe was virtually the same as that of Le Commerce de Marseille: What happened to this type of figurehead after the abolition of the monarchy in 1792 can be seen on this British print: The crown was replaced by a Phrygian cap and the lilies were carved away and, apparently, painted over with a tricolour. The same seems to have happened to other blazons related to the Ancien Régime. E.g., Les États de Bourgogne whose escutcheon - according to a 1790 print - may have shown the arms of Burgundy or the Royal lilies (I'm not quite sure about what I see) received a tricolour escutcheon too when it became La Montagne, if we are to believe De Loutherbourgs 1795 painting of the battle of 1st June 1794: https://www.gettyimages.at/detail/illustration/glorious-first-of-june-or-third-battle-of-ushant-between-grafiken/153414662 Interestingly, the Loutherbourg's 1794 sketch of La Montagne has a distorted figurehead which shows an indistinct cloaked and helmeted warrior figure, probably meant to hold an escutcheon as well: Actually, the painting appears to have it right as it shows the same arrangement as the 1790 French print: there, the escutcheon is held by two angels (or so), though it is still topped by a crown, which was later replaced by a helmet, according to De Loutherbourg. As for the Redoutable figurehead. There is another French representation of the mid-19th century in the National Maritime Museum which again shows some indistinct Romano-Greek warrior. As it is a non-contemporary picture nothing can be said about its reliability: https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/138980.html
  4. C'est quand même un peu surprenant qu'on ait changé le nom du "Marseillois" en "Vengeur du Peuple" Bon, pas vraiment ... https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insurrections_à_Marseille_1793 But, perhaps, they should have rebaptized her "Le Sans-Nom"
  5. Ou, comme ils disaient alors En bref: "Le Peuple Souverain" https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souverain_(1757)
  6. Blame treacherous Louis XVI (not as harmless as he's usually being described) for the failure of this experiment. HE was not satisfied to be a constitutional monarch but wanted to be an absolutist sovereign ("by the grace of God") again. To reach this end he and the reactionary part of the nobility were ready to sell the nation and even convey away large territories of the kingdom of France. And yes - horrible! - it was not the "Constitution" but the "Convention" ("la Terreur") which - for the first time in the history of mankind - introduced the motto "one man, one vote". Yes, still imperfect, as women were still denied the same rights (I'm an advocate of: "one adult, one vote"), but definitely a lot more than what was offered by the anti-democratic system of census suffrage that prevailed in the few "democracies" elsewhere. Typically, the census suffrage was reintroduced after the fall of Robespierre ... ☹️
  7. La seule date que je vois et qui pourrait être la date de l'agrément et de la signature du document c'est le 20 germinal an II = 9 avril 1794.
  8. Another interesting point - the signature at the lower right seems to read: "Vu et approuvé par le Représent ...[... ant (en mission du Comité de salut public)] Jeanbon [Saint-André (or St. André)?]" Compare with his signature here (first on the upper left): Other suggestions?
  9. No, I'm not talking about a direct relation between Burgues Missiessy and the "Droits de l'Homme". I'm just referring to the fact that his treatise "Installation des vaisseaux ..." - dated 1797 - is accompanied by a drawing of a 74-gun ship with one-storey galleries as well (see above). So, the design as such was still topical under the Directoire.
  10. D'accord, il se peut bien que l'idéologie ait également joué un rôle, mais, en tout cas, la conception était de même d'utilité pratique (apparemment). Je pense que l'amiral Burgues Missiessy fut un homme très terre à terre ....
  11. Yes, that just came to my mind as well: camouflage, low profile, solidity. This may well have been ideas underlying this design.
  12. The one-storey stern and quarter galleries are an interesting feature. Perhaps an attempt to lower the costs of the ornaments? A handful of Batavian Republic ships-of the-line show the same characteristic (e.g. the 80-gun "Erkentenis" of 1799). https://www.maritiemdigitaal.nl/index.cfm?event=search.getdetail&id=100023979 https://www.maritiemdigitaal.nl/index.cfm?event=search.getdetail&id=100023990 It seems the design was not very much liked and soon abandoned ... I don't know whether the ornaments were executed as planned. Contemporary British and mid-19th century French images of the "Droits de l'Homme" show the usual two-story galleries but I doubt very much that the authors of either had ever seen original plans of the ship, not to speak of the original ship. They may just have known that it was a Téméraire class ship and represented the known type of galleries for the majority of those ships. So, in my opinion, the ornaments may indeed have been executed as seen on the Musée Carnavalet drawing.
  13. I'm perplexed. Apparently, the Musée Carnavalet holds a drawing of the ornaments of the 74-gun ship "Droits de l'Homme", launched at Lorient in 1794. Curiously, they look more like those of a frigate than of a Téméraire class ship-of-the-line. http://parismuseescollections.paris.fr/fr/musee-carnavalet/oeuvres/reproduction-d-un-dessin-de-la-sculpture-du-vaisseau-les-droits-de-l-homme#infos-principales The nearest that comes to my mind is the design of the 74-gun ship in Burgues Missiessy's "Installation des vaisseaux..." (1797). https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k8596353/f439.image Any comments?
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