Royal Navy frigate model made 200 years ago by Portchester Castle prisoners up for auction is expected to sell for £6,000
A 200 year old model of a Royal Navy ship created by French prisoners of war as they were held at Portchester Castle is now up for sale.
The half metre long fine bone model is expected to make up to £6,000 when it comes up for auction for the first time in more than a century at a Salisbury auctioneer next month.
Depicting a three-masted Royal Navy frigate, the model features 48 guns, three fully rigged masts, and a polychrome female figurehead.
The model’s stern is carved with a coat of arms featuring the British lion and the unicorn.
Created during the Napoleonic wars, the model is part of the collection of the late Edward Croft-Murray (1907-1980) whose uncle purchased the model from Lisle Court on the Isle of Wight in 1908.
It has been passed down the family since then and is now being sold for the first time in 113 years.
The ship is being sold as part of the Furniture and Works of Art auction at Woolley and Wallis on July 6.
Mark Yuan-Richards, works of art specialist at Woolley and Wallis, said: ‘The level of intricacy and skilled workmanship in this model is quite exceptional.
‘Artworks by prisoners of war in the 19th century come up at auction quite frequently but they rarely match the quality seen here.’
Portchester Castle was first used as a prisoner of war camp during the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 1660s and the Napoleonic Wars of the late 18th and early 19th century were the last time it saw such service.
In the first decade of the 1800s the castle was home to up to 8,000 prisoners at a time, coming from all walks of life.
Mark added: ‘It’s a privilege to sell an object of this type, which says so much about the men who were incarcerated in Portchester Castle 200 years ago, and the length of time they must have had on their hands.
‘The incredible detail of this model shows that not only were they skilled craftsmen, but also experienced sailors who could accurately reproduce a ship of this type.’