Essay 1 P-Note 1 (27·IV·2014)

Taras Pevny

Richard Barker brought to my attention another potentially early example of a draft with design diagonals that was reproduced in The Mariner's Mirror in 1942 (P-Note Figs.1, 2) (Anderson 1942:Plate 1). Preserved in the Danish Admiralty archives, it is a copy of a French draft of the three deck 112-gun Royal Louis of 1692 built by François Coulomb in Toulon (Barker 2003b:118-119; Boudriot 1973; Hoving 2006:108-109; Rieth 1998b:112, 116note5). Like the 1684 drawing of flute built in Toulon (Figure 7), this draft provides key details of the actual application of the design method, i.e. the two triangles on the right. A fragment of an earlier version, if not the original, of this drawing is preserved in Rochefort, France (P-Note Fig.3) (AR ca.1692:PH 60231).

The Danish copy has features that represent developments in design that postdate the construction of the Royal Louis. For example, the curves in the sheer plan correspond with the buttock lines depicted in the body and breadth plans. The Rochefort fragment does not have these buttock lines, and the curves in the profile view plot the rising components of the diagonals in the body plan (P-Note Fig.3). Therefore, these later design elements were only added to the Danish copy of the French original. Note that the curves in the plan view of the Rochefort fragment do not depict the narrowing components of the diagonals; as in the Danish copy, they correspond with the waterlines in the body and breadth plans.

It is possible that these plans in general postdate Royal Louis' construction and are therefore not an indication of the use of a new "graphic method" by François Coulomb in its design. As Éric Rieth writes: "Selon le point de vue de J. Boudriot (Boudriot 1995:23-28) que nous partageons, ces plans seraient postérieurs à la construction du bâtiment et ne traduiraient donc pas une méthode de conception de dimension graphique." (Rieth 1998b:116 note 5). I have yet to acquire the 1995 Boudriot source referred to by Éric Rieth; therefore, these drafts will be discussed in more detail in future notes.


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© 2014 TARAS PEVNY
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