SHIPS in BOTTLES by Michel Bardet            


Basic technique to put a ship in a bottle

It is the technique used by many sailors and lighthouse keepers, who occupied their long days of sailing and hours on watch, in creating these small miniatures. Sailors often offered them, or sometimes sold them, when they reach land.

It has the advantage of simplifying the setting under glass, because the rigging is lying on the deck of the sailing boat and the unit (hull, sails, masts) is placed inside the bottle in just one step.

It has on the other hand, the disadvantage of limiting the width of the hull. If the masts and the sails are bulky, it is difficult to push them through the interior-diameter of the neck.

The models made with this method, are sometimes small sailing boats lost inside their bottle, and dimensions (width/length) of the ship are not always respected.
For information, it would seem that the first boats in bottles, were carried out towards the end of the 18th century (approximately 1780)

Click on one image to get more details, then wait a few seconds to have the photograph full screen.



Run of the shroud lines

Run of the stay lines

A few bases of masts

Some fixings of yards

The small scale drawing (hull, masts, yards)

Insertion of the sailing boat in the bottle


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  • Introduction
  • My personal technique
  • The know-how
  • Exhibitions and demonstrations
  • Restoration of boats in bottles
  • Traditional sailing boats
  • Winners of the " Route du Rhum " race in multihulls
  • Other models in bottles, bulbs and flasks
  • Model under construction