The 'Play Prize'
Here, a ship is viewed from before the port beam. No guns are shown aft on the gundeck and upper deck but it is still possible that the ports are closed. The figurehead seems to be a depiction of a small, seated child. The drawing is inscribed in brown ink: genamt kinder speele' K. This has supported an identification of the vessel as the 'Child's Play'. The ship was taken from the French in 1706 and was added to the Navy as the 'Child's Play'. She was lost in a hurricane in the West Indies in 1707. In this drawing, the boat has sixteen guns shown on the broadside and the style of the work is different from van de Velde's latest period. It is therefore more likely that the ship depicted here is the earlier ship called the 'Play Prize'. Both the 'Child's Play' and the 'Play Prize' were called 'Jeux' by the French, which explains this confusion.
Willem van de Velde, the Younger
Original size: 284 mm x 437 mm
- Image reference: PY1898
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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