In the context of shipbuilding, small-scale models of boats showed how a future ship would look, as well as guiding their construction, and were known as construction, shipyard, or dockyard models. These models are impressive in their technical, scientific, and artistic quality, and have contributed to our knowledge of the advances made in shipbuilding in that period, offering us, in turn, a better understanding of the historical context. As a result, these models are highly prized and can be found in naval museum collections worldwide.
This is a model of the "Real Borbón" ship, built by royal boatswain Pedro de Lima on the orders of Ferdinand VII in the Royal Palace of Madrid between 1817 and 1819.The ship has 3 decks and 114 cannons. It is made of ebony, bone, shell, and mother of pearl, and has cotton sails. The figurehead features the crowned lion that was mandatory on Armada ships, and the transom bears a medallion with the image of Saint Anthony of Padua.
Although the ship was never built, the model is an example of the technical and esthetic heights that ship model building reached in Spain in the 18th century and into the 19th century. The model also included a crew of colorful clay figurines, of which 7 remain.