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HMS Sovereign of the Seas was a 17th-century warship of the English Navy.
She was built by Peter Pett (later a Commissioner of the Navy), under the guidance of his father Phineas, the king's master shipwright, and was launched at Woolwich Dockyard on 13 October 1637.
She was the most extravagantly decorated warship in the Royal Navy, completely adorned from stern to bow with gilded carvings against a black background, made by John Christmas and Mathias Christmas after a design by Anthony van Dyck. The money spent making her, £65,586 (equal to £9,295,060 today), helped to create the financial crisis for Charles I that contributed to the English Civil War. Charles had imposed a special tax, the 'Ship Money', to make possible such large naval expenditure. The gilding alone cost £6,691 (equal to £948,270 today), which in those days was the price of an average warship.
The Sovereign of the Seas was not so much built because of tactical considerations, but as a deliberate attempt to bolster the reputation of the English crown.
A painting from this ship survives on the ceiling of Commissioners House Chatham, over the grand staircase. It depicts an assembly of the gods and depicts Mars being crowned by Neptune, surrounded by the goddesses - Hope, Peace, Justice and Plenty. The painting is surrounded by a gilded frieze depicting sea creatures. It is attributed to Thomas Highmore.
Highlights about this Sovereign of the Seas model ship:
• This model ship is entirely handmade by skilled and experienced craftsmen, using the plank on frame construction method
• No kits are use
• Anchors, guns, decorations, and other intricate details sculpted of metal
• Meticulously sewn sails, keep shape and do not wrinkle
• Use high-quality wood such as rosewood, ebony, black wood, mahogany wood.... , timbers are after process step of pre-construction.
• The Sovereign of the Seas model ship is built on scale by the original plan, then drawn up and painted by actual photographs to ensure the best accuracy.