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ANTIGUA & BARBUDA MYSTERY SHIPS

Postby aukepalmhof » Thu May 27, 2021 9:37 pm

1984 Man-of-War.MS jpg (2).jpg
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1984 Man-o-War (2).jpg
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On 1 march 1984 Antigua & Barbuda issued a 5$ miniature sheet depicting a man-of-war in battle.
Mr. K.Barry want to know more on the MS and he wrote to the artist who designed the MS, Walter Wright in New York, if he did known the name of the ship in the battle and when this naval auction took place.
He got the following reply- “This is an original design depicting warships of the sailing age and does not represent any particular ships or battle”.
Mr Barry was unsatisfied with the response, he sent the sheet to the National Maritime Museum for an expert opinion on this era of the ships. Here is their reply.
Dear Mr, Barry,
As requested in your recent letter, I have examined the stamp you submitted and have these comments for your consideration.
The hazy outline of the ship in the background is probably that of a warship of the 18th century due to his high ornamented stern. Noting more can be seen on it to identify further.
There are several anomalies in the masting and rigging of the warship shown in the foreground which do not appear to be of a particular period. For example.
1) The ship has what appears to be a spanker mizzen that is a fore-and-aft sail with a hoisting gaff and a swinging boom. This places her after the 1730-1745 period. Before that date it would have been a lateen mizzen.
2) The ship has only one row of reef-points shown on the fore and main topsails and topgallants. After 1730-1745 period there should have been two or three at least.
3) The ship has a boom at the foot of the mizzen sail. By 1780, mizzen gaffs had become standard for the smaller man-of-war that is up to 50 guns but some vessels had also been fitted with booms during this period.
4) The ship has royals on her masts. Experiments were also made with royals in the smaller warships during the late 1770’s.
5) The ship has a dolphin striker. This became a generally accepted fitting by 1794, but some vessels were fitted with dolphin-strikers long before then.
6) The ship has a mainstay secured to the fo’c’sle-head. This was standard practice before and after 1719.
7) The flags on this ship are of the Union Jack type in use prior to 1801 when the flag of St Patrick was incorporated into the design. Therefore the ship would be earlier that this date...

From the fore going you will see that the large vessel shown on the stamp is a mix of various rigs and periods and it is peculiar that the artist charged with representing a certain type of vessel of a known period would not make inquiries in the museums which have contemporary ship models, paintings and drawings. This would make their work both easier and more authentic.

The nearest equivalent to a warship of the type depicted on the stamp would be, say , an 18 to 42 gun sloop-of-war circa 1775 -1783 during the American Revolutionary War, but which particular battle cannot be determined, I hope you will find this information helpful.

D.J. Viner, Curator, Dept. of Ships,
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Copied from Logbook Volume 14 no 11 of July 1985.
Antigua& Barbuda 1984 $5 sg
aukepalmhof
 
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