Historic ship models - French expedition ship LA BELLE of 1686

   

French expedition ship LA BELLE of 1686

 

   

Scale 1 : 24, length 95 cm, width 50 cm, height 89 cm,
More photos: of entire ship, of details. Click on the photos for high resolution pictures!
 
 
Robert Cavelier de La Salle's expedition to the Gulf of Mexico
 

In 1684 - 1686 the French nobleman Robert Cavelier de La Salle undertook an expedition to establish a French colony at the mouth of the Mississippi. Due to inaccurate maps and navigational errors he did not find the Mississippi but landed at Matagorda Bay in Spanish Texas. One of his four ships was captured by pirates, one ran aground on a sand bank, one returned to France - so the settlers had to rely on their last ship, La Belle, for being their lifeline to the French colonies on the Caribbean islands. When the La Belle ran aground in Matagorda Bay in 1686 the ill fate of the settlement was sealed. 
 
In 1995 the wreckage was discovered in shallow water. In 1996 it was salvaged after erecting a cofferdam around it. The water above the wreck was pumped out and the site could be inspected more easily. The lower part of the hull was found remarkable intact and many artifacts could be recovered, including three bronze cannon. The Texas Historical Commission's La Salle Shipwreck Project has now shifted to the conservation phase, in which every artifact is carefully identified, cleaned and preserved. Later on they will be on display in the Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas.
 
The LA BELLE model, photos, description and dimensions
 
The ship model was built to plans of Jean Boudriot. He added information given by archives to information given by the wreck to reconstitute the ship. 
 
This model of the LA BELLE is a beautiful true masterpiece, especially the woodwork of the hull. It was built in 535 work hours. The ship model is 1 : 24 scale. Length is 95 cm, width 50 cm, height 89 cm.
 
The ship model was built by: Rudolf Ferlemann, Muenster, Germany, Tel. +49 251 24220,  r.ferlemann@web.de
 

Please take your time to have a good look at the set of photos. There are several views of the entire ship model taken from all directions, and several closer views of hull, deck and rigging