†The book is a detailed comparative study of the decorative work - figurehead, topside ornamentation and stern gallery design - carried by the ships of the major maritime states of Europe in the zenith of the sailing ship era. It covers both warships and the most prestigious merchant ships, the East Indiamen of the chartered companies. The work began life in the year 2000 when Andy was commissioned to carry out research for an ambitious project to build a full-size replica of a Swedish East Indiaman, which produced a corpus of information whose relevance stretched way beyond the immediate requirements of accurately decorating the replica.
Although the book commences in 1630, it initially describes the artistic influences of each nation, charting their development from renaissance and mannerist styles into the emerging baroque of Italy and France, before charting the gradual transformation of this major style, into the distinct national variations of France, Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, The book illustrates these developments which continue into rococo and neo-classicism, with numerous photographs of contemporary ship models, paintings and plans, as well as the authorís own interpretive illustrations of details.
Working as a professional ships carver, the author is able to approach the subject from a practical understanding and has included detailed accounts of the carved work for the French replica ship Hermione and the Swedish ship Gotheborg.
†As the first major work on the topic for nearly a century, it will be of obvious appeal to ship modelers and historians, but with comparative examples drawn from architecture and sculpture, it also makes a broader contribution to the history of the applied arts, highlighting little known links between eminent artists such as Anthony van Dyke, Jean Berain, Grinling Gibbons and their connection with the ornamentation of ships.
The book also includes a brief history of the East India Companies of the five major nations, providing a fascinating insight to the power of these trading companies and their effect upon the decorative arts

The book is available from the publishers;
Pen and Sword books Ltd, 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 2AS
tel: 01226 734 222 or fax 01226 734 438 www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

or via amazon search 'Ship decoration 1630 - 1780

The recommended retail price is £30

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