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Ornaments of the French ship-of-the-line "D'Hautpoult" (1807)


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Another chance find, the decorations of the French 74 gun ship-of-the-line "D'Hautpoult" (click the second of the four thumbnails and enlarge).


The sculptor was Bara (signed "Bara M[aî]tre Sculp[teur], obviously Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Bara (lived 1757 [not 1763]-1830 according to the CATALOGUE DES PLANS DE BÂTIMENTS À VOILES  CONSERVÉS DANS  LES ARCHIVES DE LA MARINE, p.435), maître sculpteur de la Marine at Lorient; don't know who the Charles-Joseph Bara mentioned in the text was. His son?). According to the comments the drawings date from between 1808 and 1814, which is unlikely. The ship was launched at Lorient in May 1807 under the name of "D'Hautpoult", in honour to the French général de division D'Hautpoult (or D'Hautpoul), killed at the battle of Eylau (7-8 February 1807) when leading his cuirassier division into battle. As a matter of fact, the figurehead appears to represent a helmeted and cuirassed general, wrapped in a cloak (perhaps alluding to winter dress). So, the drawings were most likely executed in 1807. The ship was captured by the British in 1809 and incorporated into the Royal Navy as HMS Abercrombie.


The lot includes drawings of the decorations of three more French ships of 18th century date.

They are the frigate "La Malicieuse" (launched in 1758, drawings dated 1756), the gabare (i.e. a transport/cargo vessel, not a "vaisseau", as the caption says) "L'Officieuse" (launched in 1776, drawings dated 1776), and an unknown ship said to be a ship-of-the-line ("vaisseau"; undated drawing of the quarter galleries only; the style is Louis XVI, in my opinion, not mid-18th century).



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