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A model of "Le Guillaume Tell"?


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The Malta Maritime Museum at Birgu owns a model of an 80 gun ship-of-the-line of which they say it represents the French "Le Bucentaure".


I don't know when exactly the model was manufactured and how it came to Malta, or whether it was perhaps made there. It could be contemporary and French made, in my opinion. But, anyway, I cannot imagine how one could identify this ship as "Le Bucentaure" as there is plenty of contemporary evidence that the figurehead of that ship actually was a bucentaur. The model's figurehead, however, is a human figure holding an object in the left. The object looks like a navigation instrument but the figure itself is dressed in what looks like typical alpine costume, to me. Therefore, I wonder whether the sculptor didn't mistake a crossbow for some nautical instrument? (Or, perhaps, he deliberately assimilated crossbow and nautical instrument?) If so, I'd say that the ship represents the 80 gun ship "Le Guillaume Tell" which would make perfect sense as "Le Guillaume Tell" managed to escape to Malta after the battle of the Nile (Aboukir) in 1798, took part in the defence of the island against the British in 1800, and was renamed "Malta" after its capture. So, there is a direct historical connection between "Le Guillaume Tell" and the Island of Malta. A plan of "HMS Malta" is kept in the National Maritime Museum but, if I'm not mistaken, it's not the plan of the ship "as taken" but "as fitted" (i.e. modified).


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On ‎10‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 1:38 PM, Lieste said:

That is showing a structure on the poop deck, or roundhouse, the quarterdeck is below the rail ahead of that deck level. (see the quarter deck ports between the ratlines at the left of the image)

Ah yes correct. 

Any opinion on the model?


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