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Nicolaes witsen and shipbuilding in the dutch golden age

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In 1671, Dutch diplomat and scientist Nicolaes Witsen published a book that served, among other things, as an encyclopedia for the "shell-first" method of ship construction. In the centuries since, Witsen's rather convoluted text has also become a valuable source for insights into historical shipbuilding methods and philosophies during the "Golden Age" of Dutch maritime trade. However, as André Wegener Sleeswyk's foreword notes, Witsen's work is difficult to access not only for its seventeenth-century Dutch language but also for the vagaries of its author's presentation. Fortunately for scholars and students of nautical archaeology and shipbuilding, this important but chaotic work has now been reorganized and elucidated by A. J. Hoving and translated into English by Alan Lemmers. In Nicolaes Witsen and Shipbuilding in the Dutch Golden Age, Hoving, master model builder for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, sorts out the steps in Witsen's method for building a seventeenth-century pinas by following them and building a model of the vessel. Experimenting with techniques and materials, conducting research in other publications of the time, and rewriting as needed to clarify and correct some vital omissions in the sequence, Hoving makes Witsen's work easier to use and understand. Nicolaes Witsen and Shipbuilding in the Dutch Golden Age is an indispensable guide to Witsen's work and the world of his topic: the almost forgotten basics of a craftsmanship that has been credited with the flourishing of the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century.

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... The 'same ship' was built repeatedly, over and over again, but in different sizes. This of course was a coincidence that obstructed elaboration and development of new designs (Hoving 2012:15ff, Landström 1980. ...
... 15 Several archaeologists and others have thoroughly discussed different techniques employed in seventeenth-century Dutch shipbuilding, including fluits and associated old ship types (cf. Cederlund 1988:45-55, 1995, Hoving 2012, Lemeé 2006, Maarleveld 1994:153-163, 2013. Hence there exists what one may refer to as a 'grand narrative' of this type of vessel, including how they were built and the trade in which they were used. ...
... The treatises that followed, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, had titles that altered Furtenbach's example. The second edition of Nicolaes Witsen's Aeoloude En Hedendaegshe Scheeps-Bouw en Bestier, first published in 1671 (second edition in 1690), is entitled Architectura Navalis et Regimen (Hoving 2012, Witsen 1979. English examples are master shipbuilder, Anthony Deane's Doctrine on naval architecture from 1670 (Lavery 1981) and William Sutherland's The Ship-builders Assistant, subtitled 'Or some essays towards completing the ART of Marine Architecture' (1711). ...
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In the seventeenth- and early eighteenth centuries, fluits were the most common type of merchant ship used in Baltic trade. Originally a Dutch design, the majority of all goods transported between Sweden and the Republic was carried on board such vessels. Far from all voyages reached their destination. Down in the cold brackish water of the Baltic, the preservation conditions are optimal, and several of these unfortunate vessels remain nearly intact today. Although thousands of more or less identical fluits were built, surprisingly little is known about the arrangement of space on board, their sculptural embellishment and other aspects that formed the physical component of everyday life on and alongside these ships. Fluits were a fixture in early modern society, so numerous that they became almost invisible. The study of wrecks thus holds great potential for revealing vital components of early modern life. Inspired by phenomenological approaches in archaeology, this thesis aims to focus on the lived experience of fluits. It sets out to grasp for seemingly mundane everyday activities relating to these ships, from the physical arrangements for eating, sleeping and answering nature’s call, to their rearrangement for naval use, and ends with a consideration of the architectonical contribution of the fluit to the urban landscape.
... The section derives from Massimiliano Ditta's work on Early Modern (war-) ship models kept in the Royal Danish Naval Museum in Copenhagen (Ditta 2014). Subsequently, building on the work of Lemée (2006), Hoving (2012) and Maarleveld (2013) practice and theory in the Low Countries will be discussed on the basis of the limited written technical sources and the growing body of archaeological material. In view of the general discussion on transfer of technology, it is interesting to note that Ole Judichaer's work displays aspects that conform to the (intellectual) discussions and practice associated with Italy and with developments in architecture. ...
... He includes work at the shipyards in his visit to the Republic, but the shipbuilders he consults cannot satisfy him any better and he will prefer English doctrines after that (Peters 2010, p. 162). There is, however, no reason to doubt Witsen's descriptive observations (Hoving 2012;Maarleveld 2013). Nor is there any reason to doubt his sincerity, or surmise that he knowingly withheld information, as Peter suspected. ...
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Il volume, che raccoglie undici contributi di archeologi marittimi di molti paesi, ha l'obiettivo di accendere i ri-flettori sulle enormi potenzialità dei relitti di età storica, mettendo a confronto, da un lato, approcci diversi (di ambito mediterraneo ma anche statunitense, australia-no e nord europeo), dall'altro, contesti archeologici con caratteristiche altrettanto diverse per l'ambiente di gia-citura e per l'impiego civile o militare dell'imbarcazio-ne. Gli studi, diacronici ma incentrati sul Cinquecento e sull'Ottocento, coprono le varie sfaccettature dell'in-dagine storica dei relitti di età postmedievale quali la costruzione navale, il commercio e la vita di bordo, ma anche aspetti di tipo squisitamente metodologico quali l'archeologia sperimentale navale. Si tratta di una novi-tà assoluta per l'editoria scientifica italiana in cui questo particolare, ma molto promettente, ambito della ricerca archeologica non aveva ancora trovato adeguato spazio.
... De holländska skroven byggdes utan egentliga ritningar. Istället hade mästaren så kallade bestick, vilka bestod av ett antal proportioner utifrån vilka skrovet formades (se genomgång hos Hasslöf 1970;Landstöm 1980;Hocker 2004;Lemée 2006;Hoving 2012). Metoder och matematiska formler för att på förhand beräkna de projekterade fartygens last-och seglingsegenskaper saknades, vilket innebar att snilleblixtar och innovativa infall kunde få förödande konsekvenser. ...
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Riksäpplet deals with a shipwreck that has a neglected position in the grand narrative of the history of the Swedish navy. The story of its destiny and the missing accounts in scholarly and popular works in history says something about heritage processes within Swedish maritime archaeology. On 5 June 1676 Riksäpplet came loose and adrift from its moorings outside Dalarö Sea fortress. The hull struck a rock and sank. The loss was considered both ignominious and embarrassing and the ship’s fate has been overlooked in all major history books. The rock onto which Riksäpplet sank was named ‘Äpplet’ after the incident, and the wreck itself has become an integrated component of the underwater seascape. As a consequence the wreckage has never enjoyed a proper ‘discovery’ or undergone documentation under the sensational forms that many other famous shipwrecks have, even though they have sunk in more inconvenient places. In Eriksson’s study the official handling of Riksäpplet’s wrecked body is compared to the more wellknown ships Kronan and Svärdet, which both sank during battle only days before. Eriksson draws on different motifs and driving forces behind the study of naval wrecks from the period from his comparison, and the differences are discussed. Riksäpplet has never achieved a prominent position with the romanticising works of history that honour the national heroes and their deeds which are associated with this era of the Swedish Empire. The first half of the book thus sets out to unpack the ideas that have led to the relative disinterest in Riksäpplet in comparison to other shipwrecks. The second half of the book sets out to analyse Riksäpplet from a specific archaeological perspective, with focus on the ship as material culture. Eriksson’s departure is to explore the relatively low budget fieldwork that has been done at the wreck site. He the combines those facts with a survey of the artefacts recovered from the wreck, of which all are kept in museum archives and private collections. This, in addition to his studies of preserved written correspondence concerning the construction of the ship, has brought new insights into seventeenth-century shipbuilding and how the balance between the global political superpowers affected this trade. In this context Riksäpplet has great potential to show how military alliances are materialized through ships’ architecture. Abstract [sv] Riksäpplet: Arkeologiska perspektiv på ett bortglömt regalskepp handlar om kulturarvsprocesser inom svensk marinarkeologi. Men boken handlar också om ett skeppsvrak som hamnat en hårsmån utanför den stora vedertagna sjökrigshistoriska berättelsen: regalskeppet Riksäpplet. Den 5 juni 1676 slet sig Riksäpplet från förtöjningarna vid Dalarö skans. Skrovet högg i en klippa och sjönk. Förlisningen kom att betraktas som både snöplig och pinsam och har i efterhand kommit att förtigas i historieböckerna. Klippan bär idag namnet Äpplet och vraket har kommit att bli en integrerad och självklar del av landskapet. Som en konsekvens av detta har vraket inte kunnat påträffas och dokumenteras under de sensationella former som gällt för andra välkända skeppsvrak trots att de förlist på mer otillgängliga platser. I boken jämförs hanteringen av Riksäpplets vrak med de mer välkända regalskeppen Kronan och Svärdet, vilka gick under i strid fem dagar före Riksäpplets förlisning. Utifrån jämförelsen diskuterar Eriksson motiv och drivkrafter som legat till grund för studiet av vrak efter svenska örlogsfartyg från stormaktstiden. Riksäpplet har inte kunnat erövra någon framträdande roll i den romantiserande historieskrivning som lyfter fram nationens hjältar och deras stordåd. Boken första hälft syftar till att synliggöra de mekanismer och drivkrafter som ligger bakom att Riksäpplet prioriterats bort till förmån för undersökningar av andra vrak. Bokens andra hälft ägnas åt att fokusera på ett nytt, mer renodlat arkeologiskt perspektiv på skeppet som materiell kultur. Erikssons utgångspunkt är ett till resurserna tämligen begränsat arkeologiskt fältarbete på vrakplatsen som ändå har genererat stora resultat. Han kombinerar detta med en genomgång av de föremål som genom åren har bärgats från vraket och som finns arkiverade i olika museimagasin och hos privata samlare. Tillsammans med bevarad skriftlig korrespondens kring skeppets byggande väcks nya insikter om 1600-talets skeppsbyggeri och hur detta kunde påverkas av den globala politiska maktbalansen över världshaven. Satt i en sådan kontext har Riksäpplet stor potential att visa hur stormaktens militärallianser materialiserades genom skeppens arkitektur.
... Although the British navy did not adopt the use of copper sheathing until the mid to late eighteenth century (and significantly later by the Portuguese fleet), the ages obtained from the wreck are not consistent with this period. In marked contrast, copper protection of vessels was used extensively by Dutch shipyards by at least the 1670s (Hoving, 2012). ...
... Witsen's is not. Hoving (1994;2012) is to be acknowledged for taking us by the hand in explaining Witsen's central descriptions and for pointing us to his 'empiricism' in treating the subject. Witsen described what happened and what he observed. ...
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With its basis in the Aanloop Molengat-wreck research, this paper reflects on two issues: the relationship between written and archaeological sources and the comparability of archaeological field data. The first theme results in a discussion of Nicolaes Witsen's work on shipbuilding and his rendering of primary source material. The second theme results in a discussion of more or less contemporary wrecks for which field data is available. Timber density is compared and a diagnostic index for what have loosely been termed Dutch-flush merchant ships is proposed. Inconsistencies between field data and historical analysis are presented as a field of further research.
... 104 Можливо, саме тому в науковій літературі та письмових джерелах відсутні теоретичні розрахунки таких якорів. Порівняно невелика кількість існуючих документів лише згадує вагу виробів у співвідношенні до розмірів судна і не містить жодної інформації щодо його морфологічних особливостей [4,5]. ...
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Dutch shipbuilding in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has been surveyed by historians and archaeologists utilizing historical documents and archaeological sites. Many studies of contemporary Dutch maritime art are used to supplement the descriptions and interpretations of this archaeological and historical evidence. Sieuwert van der Meulen’s "Navigiorum aedificatio" is often utilized to complement the study of Dutch ships and rarely evaluated as a whole for historical accuracy. This paper will analyze the etchings of "Navigiorum aedificatio" using historical and archaeological evidence of Dutch shipbuilding as sources for comparison for the accuracy and interpretation of Sieuwert van der Meulen’s series.
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The 84-gun ship Riksäpplet was one of the first ships in Sweden built under supervision of the newly recruited English master. In 1676, the ship came adrift, struck a rock and sank. In 2015 a minor field survey of the wreck was undertaken. An inventory of finds recovered from the wreck in various museum collections and in private hands has been compiled and the preserved correspondence from the construction of the ship has been re-examined. This material has provided new insights regarding the peculiarities and special architecture of Riksäpplet.
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en This report explores a hypothesis that the Norman's Bay shipwreck is the Wapen van Utrecht, a 64‐gun Dutch ship lost during the Battle of Beachy Head in 1690. The shipwreck, found off the Sussex coast, was designated by the Protection of Wrecks Act (1973) in 2006, when it was speculated that the wreck was the English 70‐gun ship Resolution, lost in the Great Storm of 1703. Dendrochronology dates the vessel after the middle of the 17th century AD, however, with timbers from Germany or the Low Countries. Initiatives by the Nautical Archaeology Society to bring the protected wreck to a wide public are also discussed. 抽象 zh 英国东萨塞克斯郡诺曼湾沉船:一艘可能参与比奇角海战的17世纪荷舰 本文着重探讨诺曼湾沉船即为乌德勒支武器号 (Wapen van Utrecht) 的这一假说。乌德勒支武器号是一艘拥有64门火炮的荷兰战舰, 1690年在比奇角海战中沉没。该沉船发现于萨塞克斯海岸。2006年, 由于此船被认为是在1703年大风暴中覆没的带有70门火炮的英船决心号 (Resolution) 而被纳入《沉船保护法案 (1973) 》。树木年轮测量将此船年代定为公元17世纪后半叶, 而且其船材来自于德国或其他低地国家。本文还会就海洋考古学会提出的将受保护的沉船介绍给更广泛的大众的倡议加以讨论。 本文著重探討諾曼灣沈船即爲烏德勒支武器號 (Wapen van Utrecht) 的這一假說。烏德勒支武器號是一艘擁有64門火炮的荷蘭戰艦, 1690年在比奇角海戰中沉沒。該沉船發現于薩塞克斯海岸。2006年, 由于此船被認爲是在1703年大風暴中覆沒的帶有70門火炮的英船決心號 (Resolution) 而被納入《沉船保護法案 (1973) 》。樹木年輪測量將此船年代定爲公元17世紀後半葉, 而且其船材來自于德國或其他低地國家。本文還會就海洋考古學會提出的將受保護的沉船介紹給更廣泛的大衆的倡議加以討論。 Abstracto es El Pecio de la Bahía de Norman, Sussex Oriental, Reino Unido: un posible barco holandés del siglo XVII de la Batalla de Beachy Head Este reporte explora la hipótesis de que el pecio de la Bahía de Norman es el Wapen van Utrecht, un buque holandés de 64 cañones perdido durante la Batalla de Beachy Head en 1690. El pecio, hallado en la costa de Sussex, fue designado por el ‘Protection of Wrecks Act (1973)’ en 2006, cuándo se especulaba que era el Resolution, buque inglés de 70 cañones que se perdió en la Gran Tormenta de 1703. Los estudios dendrocronológicos datan el pecio después de mediados del siglo XVII d.C., no obstante, sus maderas proceden de Alemania y los Países Bajos. También se discute la iniciativa de la Nautical Archaeology Society de llevar el pecio protegido a un público amplio. Traducción: Ricardo Borrero
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