Canot de l'Empereur échelle 1/24ème
Although not my scale (1 / 24th) I was struck by this beautiful achievement made by a very nice gentleman ... Here are some words on the history of this boat that ended at the National Museum of the Navy Palais de Chaillot see ci below a summary of its history:
The Imperial Canoe of Napoleon I is the only boat of this type that France has preserved in its integrity.
Its construction was decided in the greatest secrecy in the spring of 1810, when the Emperor proposed to go to Antwerp to visit the arsenal, which he had ordered the creation a few years earlier.
The engineer Guillemard provides the plans for the boat, while the master Théau, from Granville, supervises the construction. The decorative elements are entrusted to the Antwerp sculptor Van Petersen. In just 21 days the boat is ready. It is over 18 meters long: the rear third is dominated by a spacious deckhouse to accommodate the personalities, while the rowers occupy all the rest of the space. Its decor is then rather basic.
On April 30, 1810, the regimental canoe made a remarkable entry into Antwerp: Napoleon and the young Empress Marie-Louise were on board, accompanied by Marshal Berthier, Minister of the Navy Decrès and Admiral Missiessy, commanding officer. Squadron of the Scheldt; a real naval procession surrounds them. For several days the canoe ensures the movements of the Emperor who visits the flagship Le Charlemagne, attends the spectacular launch of Friedland and inspects the entire fleet.
In 1814 the boat is sent to Brest. Its ornamentation is completed but remains sober, with an eagle at the bow. Then it undergoes new modifications in its decoration before the visit to Brest of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie in 1858. It is from this time that date the current sculptured elements, including the figurehead representing Neptune, the rear group with the imperial arms and, overcoming the deckhouse, a large crown supported by four cherubs.
Even the oars are adorned with sumptuous painted designs.
It will serve again in 1903 at the time of the arrival of the President of the Republic. In November 1922 he was released for the Navy Minister Raiberti on the occasion of the "Triumph of the Naval School". Finally, he was transported to the Palais de Chaillot, in Paris, in 1943.
Canot de l'Empereur © musée national de la Marine/P. Dantec