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VILLE DE PARIS

The Ville de Paris was the first three-decker to be completed for the French navy since the 1720s.   She became famous as the flagship of the Comte de Grasse during the American Revolutionary War.

De Grasse's victory off the Capes of Virginia was instrumental to the American independence.  The French fleet kept the Royal Navy from making contact with Cornwallis when it sailed out to meet the British challenge on September 5, 1781. 

On September 17, 1781, Washington and de Grasse dined on the Ville de Paris.  Much to the amusement of the guests, the 6'2" de Grasse kept calling the 6'4" American "mon petit general."  On September 28, 1781, the combined Franco-American armies left Williamsburg for Yorktown; three weeks later, Cornwallis surrendered. Fighting would continue for another year, but American independence had been won on the banks of the York River and off the Capes of Virginia.

Although de Grasse spent only two months in American waters and never set foot on American soil, he ranks with the marquis de Lafayette and the comte de Rochambeau as a Frenchman who contributed to American victory.

De Grasse's flagship--Ville de Paris, was originally laid down in 1757 as the 90-gun Impétueux,   and was funded by the City of Paris and renamed Ville de Paris in 1762 as a result of the don des vaisseaux, Duc de Choiseul’s campaign to raise funds for the navy from the cities and provinces of France.

In 1778, on the French entry into the American Revolutionary War Ville de Paris was commissioned at Brest.  Being the largest and most powerful French ship, she joined the fleet as the flagship of the Comte de Guichen.  In July she fought in the Battle of Ushant which took place on July 27th, 1778.  In this battle, The French and the British fleets fought 100 miles west of Ushant, a French island at the mouth of the English Channel.  That was the first major naval engagement between the two fleets since France had entered the War of American Independence a couple months earlier, the battle ended indecisively and led to political disputes in both countries.

At some point during the next two years, Ville de Paris had an additional 14 small guns mounted on her previously unarmed quarterdeck, making her a 104-gun ship!

In March 1781, she sailed for the West Indies as flagship of a fleet of 20 of the line under the Comte de Grasse. She then fought at the Battle of Fort Royal, the Battle of the Chesapeake and the Battle of St. Kitts as De Grasse's flagship.

Ville de Paris' fame ended when she was taken at the Battle of the Saintes on 12 April 1782, when the British fleet defeated the French fleet.  She sank in September 1782 with other ships when a fleet was hit by a hurricane off Newfoundland on the voyage back to England.

   
   
   





  Like all tall ship model ships, this Ville de Paris model ship features:

  - Scratch-built
  - Plank-on-frame (very important)
  - All parts are wooden or metal
  - Realistic old-looking thin sails
  - Guns: Metal barrels on wooden carriages
  - Guns on real deck (not fake plugged-in guns)

 

   36" long x 29" tall x 10" wide      $3,700     S&H is $150  SOLD OUT
 

   Add 110v light feature to the model (can be converted to 220v):  $200   

 

"I would just like to say im very happy with the ville de paris and a very big thankyou to who built it and put all the hard work in it will get hours of enjoyment out of it...  D.  Underwood  2/23/15"