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Zeven Provinciën, many thanks for your assistance

Good evening Rex,

Thank you for your previous emails and the one below.
We are not quite at the end of this! Rex_S_Batavia_stern_detail_23A_0022_wp.jpg

First though, please indulge a credit for a friend of mine.
I, Gordon Frickers, was able to visit the Batavia Wherf only because of the vision and generosity of Mr. Henk van der Hoef.
Henk was the inspiration behind my paintings of ZP and in those already far off days, in many ways a very good friend to me and my family.
I’d been to the Netherlands before, the first time arriving in what was then the world’s oldest wooden square rigger, the Maria Asumpta (http://frickers.co.uk/marine-art/maria_asumpta_plymouth.html
With Henk, we also toured other Dutch marine sites of interest and he exposed me to Dutch beer and a little of Dutch culture.
I already had a lot of respect for the Dutch people, Henk built on this.

I probably mentioned, I thought the ship as building is from a model, Van de Veldes amazing drawings and the master ship wright’s experience?
Mr. Voss, if I remember correctly (but it was some years ago) said as much to me.

Of course you will appreciate, Van de Velde drew the ship and painted her quite a few times as she was a renowned flagship.

It amused me to stand there and realise, in my work I am in direct decent from the Van der Veldes (who became court Marine painters to King Charles II of England) and here I was on their territory, working on one of their favourite subjects, updating and continuing their traditions.
Willum also told me several anecdotes about the ship, one at least staggered me.

If you wish I am quietly confident I could find my original notes made while in conversation with Willum?
These include sketches he drew in my pad, of the technique for setting out a “great ship”.
I could try to find/scan these if they will help u.

The conversation came about because I was having problems drawing the bottom of the ship.
I could not believe the measurements I was getting by eye.

I realized this was odd as I have a highly trained and natural eye for these things.

I asked Willum Voss to discuss this with me which he very obligingly did, at some length.
For me it was more than fascinating, spell binding.
You may know, I studied traditional ship and boat building at Falmouth Technical College in the early ’80’s?
Then worked as a ship wright and boat builder for some years and have a passion for the subject?

I was standing on a full size replica of a large Dutch 17C warship discussing technical ship building with the master shipwright versed in “the old Dutch ways, before they copied the English and French“, wow…
Then he gave me a guided tour of work in progress in the yard.
Including in the work shops where parts of the ship were being prepared, figure head etc
I took quite a few photos that day including of the Batavia.

I have a few ready to go on my web site as soon as my web master re opens the further reading pages. ZP_yard_constuction__photos_wp.JPG

Willum mentioned several books on Dutch ship building but I doubt I have any references to them.

However maybe some one will write in and help us here?

The one book I do have on this period is high quality and well illustrated.
It is shown on my further reading page which frustratingly remains closed…
I have looked out my copy for you.

A Distant Storm“,

the four days battle – Frank L. Fox, ISBN 0-948864-29-X
For what my opinion is worth I think Frank Fox has written a superb book. The flysheet claims he is “one of the world’s leading experts on the art of the Van de Veldes and navies of the 17 c” – I’d drink to that!.

I’ll try and find him for u.
If you can reach him he might be willing to help.

Thank you for allowing your messages to go onto my blog. I am very pleased to have them there.
I have always loved models, viewed some of the best in places like the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich archives.
I think your models look excellent.   Rex_S__4A_0004_wp.jpg rex_S_14A_0013_wp.jpg

I would be delighted to have my web site associated with yours.
I look forward to hearing yours has a link to mine.
I suggest at least one goes to the ZP page http://frickers.co.uk/marine-art/zeven_provincien_2.html
If you need anything from me, just ask, copy etc.

I have discussed with my web master, a link to your site from mine.
He says he has made this so easy I can make it myself.
(he is annoyingly keen to turn me into a geek… – seriously he is one of the very best mates I have).
Thus I will make it so.

I will let you know as soon as I have your entry posted satisfactorily.
You will be able to check and edit as you think fit.

I hope we hear from other people on this subject.

Kind regards,


Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 2:27 PM
Subject: BATAVIA Photo
Good Afternoon Gordon:

I made every effort to contact Willum Voss and was told he was no longer at the Shipyard.
I did call and email another individual who was the current Master Shipwright, but no response on the ZEVEN PROVINCIEN plans.

I must assume that these will not be released to the general public. Most likely I will have to search other sources for them, in kind.

In the meantime I’m sending you these jpegs of the finished model and would be honored to have them featured on your site in the Reader’s Page. Also, to be linked to your site.
In return, I would be happy to have you linked to mine. Can I just link you or do you have a code that must be given to my webhost? Let me know.

Also, along with BATAVIA, I’m enclosing jpegs of the HMS PRINCE which is also built in miniature at 1/16″ = 1′ or 16′ = 1″. The scale is 1:200 and the miniature model is 11 1/2″ inches in length. The sails are made of treated bond paper, handscripted and bolted on the edges with linen thread to give the appearance of an actual sail (in miniature). The PRINCE is made the same way.

I guess this is the long and short of it for the moment. Many thanks for your assistance on ZEVEN PROVINCIEN.