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French ship Redoutable (1791)

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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:

commerce-de-marseille-2.jpg

What happened to this type of figurehead after the abolition of the monarchy in 1792 can be seen on this British print:

Vaisseau_fran%C3%A7ais_le_Commerce_de_Ma

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:

Philip_James_de_Loutherbourg_-_La_Montag

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

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Figurehead of Le Commerce de Marseille during her monarchic period (1785-1792) without painting : here.

(from Delacroix' monograph)

very nice work!

x7ZaNRo.jpg?1

Edited by LeBoiteux
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17 hours ago, Wagram said:

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.

J'aimerais bien en trouver/voir une représentation un peu plus visible/détaillée.

17 hours ago, Wagram said:

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:

Philip_James_de_Loutherbourg_-_La_Montag

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.

D'après ce que je comprends de ton compte-rendu, rien n'empêche que L'Etats de Bourgogne ait arboré, comme figure de proue :

  • un blason 'royaliste' jusqu'en 92/93
  • transformé alors dans sa version républicaine jusqu'à la bataille du 1 juin 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.
  • 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 (?).

Non ?

Edited by LeBoiteux

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3 hours ago, LeBoiteux said:

J'aimerais bien en trouver/voir une représentation un peu plus visible/détaillée.

D'après ce que je comprends de ton compte-rendu, rien n'empêche que L'Etats de Bourgogne ait arboré, comme figure de proue :

  • un blason 'royaliste' jusqu'en 92/93
  • transformé alors dans sa version républicaine jusqu'à la bataille du 1 juin 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.
  • 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 (?).

Non ?

 

  • 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.
Edited by Wagram

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