Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2000.008.015
Description Reale de France Model Ship by Charles Parsons is a handmade, wooden ship at 1:60 scale. Ship has one deck with two rows of 30 red benches with white and wooden oars. There are red and gold flags running along entire length of ship near oars with a large flag at end, on right. There is a red/white/blue launch/dinghy on the each side of the boat. There are two, triangular sails with black rods (facing front) and red, triangular flags on tops with gold decorations. There are also two other red flags with slightly more ornate gold decorations on top of the poles supporting the sails. Sails are rigged with small wooden pulleys, but not deadeyes. The front of the ship has a golden horse figurehead and blue stripe with gold decorations. The blue and gold band extends around the entire ship, growing wider towards the rear, where most of the rear is dark blue with gold decorations. The rear also has several golden figures of cherubs and angels, as well as a coat of arms (?) with two small circular markers with a small crown and the letter "L" inside them. One "L" is reversed. On the top of the rear of the ship is an open wooden cage/cover with light blue windows along it, a crown on a post, and a white and gold flag. There are 5 cannons in the front, with the outer cannons being the smallest and center being the largest. There is a red platform above the cannons. The ship is mounted on a dark stained wooden base, on a light blue painted base, on a dark stained wooden base.
Object Name Model, Instructional
Collection 3D - Documentary Objects
Title Reale de France Model Ship by Charles Parsons
Date 1984
Creator Parsons, Charles
Role Artist
Creator Maritime Museum, Paris
Role Designer
Inscription Text "REALE DE FRANCE / 1680 / MODEL BY / CHARLES H. PARSONS / 1984" (engraved on brass colored, metal plaque on base).
Provenance Model constructed by Charles Parsons at his home in San Carlos.
Notes Reale de France
French Royal Galley, 1680
Model by Charles Parsons,
Model Plans by Maritime Museum in Paris
1:60 scale, Completed 1984

At the time of Louis XIV of France, galleys were widely used for both trade and warfare. The Reale de France had 59 oars with 7 men on each oar. The men often sat waist deep in water because the hull was so low. The French used prisoners of war and condemned criminals to man the oars. Traveling near the shoreline, the sailors often spent the night on land. The sails were available as an alternative to the oars.

The Reale de France was deadly to an enemy. The galley could row up to a becalmed ship of war’s stern, safely below the heavy guns, and deliver fatal damage.

Dimensions H-28 W-45.5 D-22 inches
Medium Wood
Search Terms Model
Model Ships
Parsons, Charles H.
Reale de France (ship)
War Ships
Maritime Museum, Paris
Subjects Model ships
Sailing ships
People Parsons, Charles H.