Model of English 60-gun warship HMS "Chester"
- c. 1708
Model of English 60-gun warship HMS "Chester", of establishment of 1708. This represents a fourth-rate, 663 tons burthen, 125ft x 34.5ft., built and launched at the Chatham dockyard in 1708, which remained in service until it was broken up in February 1749.
This is a model, made to scale 1:48, of a 60-gun warship. In 1649 the Admiralty Committee issued an order that all Admiralty ship designs were to be submitted with an accompanying model. The shipbuilder's miniature became an 'official model', in which the frames were stylised and left exposed below the waterline, in order that the hull curvature (known as the sheer draught) could be studied easily. 'Navy Board' models were usually made in the dockyards and represent the first serious adherence to true scale and proportion in model design. This very elaborate example was built in Chatham dockyard. It closely follows Admiralty specifications of 1691 for a 60-gun vessel, but was not completed until 1723. Hence it shows wreath-ports which must date from before 1704, whilst most of the fittings and carvings are later. The merchant-type double steering-wheel is a nineteenth century addition.