Rogers Ship Model Collection
Model No. 74. Unidentified British East Indiaman, approximately 830 tons, c 1785. Although at first glance this unrigged model appears to depict a Royal Navy warship, the bluff bow and near vertical, box-like sides reveal it to be an armed merchantman of the Honorable East India Company. Unlike ships-of-the-line, Indiamen were designed to carry goods and passengers between England and the Far East. Their guns were used mainly to defend against the depredations of pirates and privateers intent on stealing their precious cargoes. Here the polychromed figurehead represents Britannia.