What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by

Searching...

print

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1842,0806.372

  • Description

    A submarine; cross section from bow to stern of cigar-shaped paddle-wheeled semi-submersible, with forked pennant with lion and scimitar flying in small deck above and text below. c.1653
    Etching

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1653 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 149 millimetres
    • Width: 227 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with key and text below image in eleven lines: "The true & perfect forme of the Strange Ship built at Rotterdam Ao. 1653... 9. the Gallery / there they walke,".
  • Curator's comments

    Literature: A. Griffiths and G. Kesnerova, 'Wenceslaus Hollar: Prints and Drawings from the collections of the National Gallery, Prague, and the British Museum, London', 1983, no. 93; M. Jones, 'The Print in Early Modern England: An Historical Oversight', New Haven and London, 2010, pp.111-113 and fig.102.

    Text from www.bpi1700.org.uk Malcolm Jones, "Print of the Month", April 2009:

    Datable to the time of the First Anglo-Dutch War is a most interesting sheet depicting a type of submarine (really, a semi-submerged ram) built in Rotterdam by the Frenchman De Son in 1653. The English print, "The true and perfect forme of the Strange Ship built at Rotterdam Anno 1653", which though unsigned is attributed to Hollar, clearly copies an original engraved by Frederik de Witt and held uniquely in the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam, entitled "Perfecte Afbeeldinge: van 't Wonderlycke Schip, gemaakt tot Rotterdam". 1653 [See Paas, PA453]. Comparison of the texts of the English and Dutch versions is revealing. The original claims that the wonderful ship could reach the East Indies in six weeks, and in a single day get to France and back - on the English sheet this latter claim has been significantly altered to read, '[She] can goe from Rotterdam to London and back againe in one day', and is immediately preceded by the ominous 'the inventor doeth undertake in one day to destroy a honderd Ships'. The message was clear - here is a dastardly secret weapon that the Dutch are about to unleash on English shipping! But the English need not have worried, for, in the event, the vessel never saw action, as De Son was unable to find a clockwork motor powerful enough to drive its internal paddle-wheel.

    The accompanying text is as follows:

    'The true & perfect forme of the Strange Ship built at Rotterdam Anno 1653[;] the inventor of it doeth undertake in one day to destroy one honderd Ships, can goe from Rotterdam to London and back againe in one day: & in 6 Weekes to goe to the East Indiens, and to run as Swift as a bird can fly[:] no fire, nor Storme or Bullets can hinder her unlesse it please God, Although the Ships meane to bee safe in their havens, it is in vaine. for shee shall come to them in any place, it is impossible for her to bee taken, unlesse by treacherie, and then can not bee governed by any but himselfe, the length is 72, the height is 12 foote, the breadth 8 foote, 1. The middle beame, 2. the two ends with Iron barrs, wherein the Strength of the Ship lieth on both ends alike. 3. the rudder of the Ship, 4. the kiele, 5. Iron boults with scrues, 6. the depth to the middle beame, 7. The wheele that goeth round by which it hath its motion, 8. the Shuttles where they goe in, 9. the Gallery there they walke,'

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Pennington 1283 bibliographic details
    • New Hollstein 1321 (Hollar) bibliographic details
    • Paas PA453 (BM sheet unrecorded by Paas) bibliographic details
  • Location

    British XVIIc Mounted Roy

  • Exhibition history

    1993/4 Dec-April, Sheffield, Graves AG, Wenceslaus Hollar: 1607-1677

  • Subjects

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition date

    1842

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1842,0806.372

Cross section from bow to stern of cigar-shaped paddle-wheeled semi-submersible, with forked pennant with lion and cimitar flying in small deck above and text below.  c.1653
Etching

Cross section from bow to stern of cigar-shaped paddle-wheeled semi-submersible, with forked pennant with lion and cimitar flying in small deck above and text below. c.1653 Etching

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: PPA95073

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...