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Object Record

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Catalog Number 2000.008.009
Description Rattlesnake (1781) Model Ship by Charles Parsons is a handmade wooden ship to 1:48 scale. The ship is plain wood, with some black accents such as a decorative railing around the boat, crows nests and flag supports. The ship has three decks with the center deck being the lowest, and the decks on the ends at the same level as one another. There are three flag posts, each with a crows nest. The poles have all the rigging and are attached by black, round deadeyes. The rear deck contains a flagpole, a wooden chest, a wheel, and a square opening to the closed compartment below. The center deck is connected to the other decks by ladders and contains a large flagpole and a large dinghy/launch in the center. There are doors the the compartment that sits under the rear deck. The front deck contains a flagpole and is open underneath. The rear of the ship has 5 windows. The front of the ship has two large, black anchors. There are 10 cannon openings on each side, with five exposed cannons on each side. The left side of the ship has been left unfinished and shows the inner structure of the ship. Ship is mounted on a dark wood base, on a painted brown base, on a light wood base.
Object Name Model, Instructional
Collection 3D - Documentary Objects
Title Rattlesnake Model Ship by Charles Parson
Date 1994
Creator Parsons, Charles
Role Artist
Creator Hahn, Harold
Role Designer
Inscription Text "RATTLESNAKE / 1781 / MODEL BY / CHARLES H. PARSONS / 1994" (inscribed brass plaque on base)
Provenance Model constructed by Charles Parsons at his home in San Carlos.
Notes Rattlesnake
American Privateer, 1780
Model by Charles Parsons, Model Plans by Harold Hahn
1:48 scale, Completed 1994

A privateer owned by Massachusetts’ investors, the Rattlesnake was authorized by the United States to attack British shipping vessels during the Revolutionary War. She had a battery of 20 guns and a crew of 85 men. Designed for speed, she was intended to strike quickly against unarmed merchant ships.

The Rattlesnake was on her f irst cruise on June 25, 1781, when she met a British ship, HM Assurance, armed with 44 guns, and was captured. She became part of the Royal Navy and was renamed HM Cormorant. As a small, fast ship, she served as a dispatch vessel. In 1784 she was given back her original name and sold out of service by the British.
Dimensions H-29 W-40.75 D-14.75 inches
Medium Wood
Search Terms Model
Parsons, Charles H.
Rattlesnake (ship)
Hahn, Harold
War Ships
Working Ships
Subjects Ships
Model ships
Working ships
People Parsons, Charles H.
Hahn, Harold