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Mataró wooden model

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Mataró wooden model

Postby D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen » Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:29 pm

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One of the oldest and most famous medieval ship models in Western culture is the Mataró. Presently housed in the Maritime Museum Rotterdam based in the Netherlands, this Mediterranean trading ship was built in the 15th century according to recent carbon date testing. What makes the Mataró so remarkable is it is believed to have been presented to the Chapel of San Simón in the Spanish town of Mataró as a dedicated gift to the Virgin Mary.

In fact, most chapels during this time were often decorated with gifts of model ships. These gifts are more commonly known as ex votos, or votive offerings to a saint or divinity. Ex votos are given in fulfillment of a vow or devotion and are placed in churches where worshippers seek grace or wish to show gratitude. Sailors or other people who traveled by sea would place ex votos in the form of paintings, as well as ship models, in designated shrine areas and ask for blessings on their oceanic voyages.

More than 48 inches long and 22 inches wide, the Mataró model has been used as a basis for naval architecture research. Additionally, it has been used as a guide to determine cargo capacity, functional structures and engineering elements of ships that may have existed in the 1400s. A great deal of attention has been put into the Mataró’s details and the model itself was more than likely built by an actual shipbuilder. All historical evidence indicates that the Mataró is a scale model of an actual ship.

Unfortunately, church records of the Mataró were lost during the Spanish Civil War and no sources have been located that can provide indelible proof that it was truly presented as an ex voto. For instance, models of other ships, paintings and relics have been placed in churches for decoration or for commemoration and not necessarily just for the purposes of an ex voto blessing.

(Netherlands 2015, 1)
D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen
 
Posts: 804
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:46 pm

Re: Mataró wooden model

Postby D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:32 pm

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Netherlands, €0.44, private stamp
D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen
 
Posts: 804
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:46 pm


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