The Victory Cabinets

In 2003, whilst attending a Craft Fair, I came across the ‘The 1805 Collection’.

The ‘Collection’ had been created to utilise some of the oak & copper that had been taken from HMS Victory, as a result of the restorations that have been carried out over the last hundred years or so. The intention was to allow craftspeople to make and sell items from the materials and then return a portion of the sale value to support the restoration.  It came about as a result of series of a number of chance meetings. See the page below, from the book ‘Victory at any Price’ by Jonathan Bowman, for the beginning of the story.

On enquiring about being involved in the project I was told that I could visit the barn in Norfolk where the materials were currently being stored and choose what I needed. I spent an extraordinary hour, digging around in strange and varied sections of timber and copper until I found a section of large structural oak that I thought would work for me.

As with many makers, I already had an idea about what I thought I might make, but as usual what we want and what we are given do not always match. However, the piece I found, whilst not meeting my original ideas, held a wonderful surprise. Three holes which I thought might mar my creations, turned out to be the makings of them. The holes contained two 1 inch 92.5cm) copper rivets about a foot (30cm) long, and a similar sized timber peg. These became key features in all the pieces I made.

In all I created 4 cabinets and 3 plaques from the timber and copper.

A page from the book Victory at any price by Jonathan Bowman

Victory 1 Cabinet

In the other three cabinets slices with the holes formed the door panels. Whilst finishing the surfaces of the doors I left the inner edges with the original tarred and patinated surface of wood as it was on removal from the Victory. Some of the copper from the hull was then inset to add additional interest.

In the first cabinet I used some plain pieces of the oak to form two doors with curved edges – creating a wave form. I used the copper hull lining, which had developed an amazing Verdigris surface, to provide a background panel where the doors joined.

Inside I used slices of the timber, with the copper rivets sliced into discs and replaced in the holes.

Victory 2 Cabinet

Victory 3 Cabinet

Victory 4 Cabinet

In the other three cabinets slices with the holes formed the door panels. Whilst finishing the surfaces of the doors I left the inner edges with the original tarred and patinated surface of wood as it was on removal from the Victory. Some of the copper from the hull was then inset to add additional interest.

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2 Responses

  1. Paddy

    I think using your blog to highlight projects you worked on previously is a great idea to show range of things you’ve worked on over time, not just the newer ones!

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