A highly detailed, Planked and framed ¼":1' scale model of the 74-Four Gun Ship Vanguard as fitted for Lord Nelson, prior to the Battle of the Nile 1798, researched and modelled by Charles d'Clinton in boxwood with fully framed port side and semi-planked and framed starboard side, carved and gilt figurehead, stern carvings and gun whale trophies, with semi-planked deck exposing internal framing with details including stove, belfry, capstan, shot racks, cannons in trucks, deck lights, companionways etc., bound masts, yards with s'tuns'l booms, hand-wound standing and running rigging with sheathed blocks with fully fitted longboats being slung out, and a number of finely modelled crew including Nelson and marines going about their duties, mounted on a light oak panel with side brace, overall measurements --52 x 64 x 26in. (132 x 162.5 x 66cm.); together with framed details and 'gold' certificate from the Model Engineer Exhibition, videos and photographs of construction.
H.M.S. Vanguard, 1,604 tons, was one of the "Arrogant" class of two-decked 74-gun third rates designed by Sir Thomas Slade in 1758. Although several ships were begun immediately, Vanguard herself was not actually ordered until 1779 and it took a further three years before her keel was laid on 16 October 1782. Finally launched at Deptford on 6 March 1787, she measured 168 feet in length with a 47 foot beam, and was commissioned with a crew of 550 men.
Assigned to the Channel fleet on the outbreak of war with Revolutionary France in 1793, she was soon dispatched to the West Indies where she first distinguished herself on 29 September 1795 by capturing the French 50-gun Superbe off the Leeward Islands. This was clearly a prelude to greater things for when she returned home to refit in late 1797, it was announced that she was to become flagship for Nelson for his forthcoming tour of duty in the Mediterranean. Ready for sea by the end of March, Vanguard sailed from Portsmouth on 10 April 1798 and was nearly lost in a severe storm off Toulon in May. On 1 August - after three months of searching - Nelson at last located the French fleet lying in Aboukir Bay at the mouth of the Nile, and even though it was already six o'clock in the evening, he astonished his own captains as well as the enemy by attacking them immediately. Outgunned and unprepared for an action they believed would not come until the next morning, the French were decisively defeated in a brilliant show of Nelsonian daring. It was a glorious victory and one which brought England's hero to the pinnacle of his fame.
Although Vanguard was to see plenty more action before the Napoleonic Wars were finished, particularly in the West Indies, much of it - even the bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807 - was an anticlimax after the battle of the Nile. Worn out by continuous service at sea for almost twenty years, she was hulked to become a prison ship in December 1812, relegated to a powder store in 1814, and finally broken up at Portsmouth in September 1821.