La Recouvrance, Further Reading

“La Recouvrance”, privateer replica, the pride of her home port of Brest ⚓

It is possible to sail on her, now here is an adventure for you😄!

One of the paintings in my ‘Nelson and Trafalgar Series.
A series as yet not exhibited in public.

La Recouvrance :

As my French friends in Brest put it, “you (British) won all the battles but we made the money!

The name of this schooner of war, with typical French humour, is that of the ‘red light’ district of the port of Brest.

At the time of her launching, this fine painting was already on display as part of an invited exhibition in Brest of Gordon Frickers Marine Art.

Painting the French privateer La Recouverance, a detail
La Recouverance, painting, a detail

La Recouvrance is shown here is sailing on ‘Le Goulet de Brest’ the entrance [‘neck] of the roads of Brest).

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This superb replica schooner was built as the result of a bar room bet with a shipwright.

Painting detail of a French privateer,
La Recouvrance, a painting detail of a French schooner of war, privateer.

He said he could build a schooner in six months.

La Recouvrance was launched with great ceremony at the vast Maritime Festival Brest ’96.

I had the great pleasure of

being among the thousands of people at Brest 96 who witness the launching of La Recouvrance.

By climbing a lamp post I was able to enjoy a fine view, Yachting World subsequently published several of my ‘lamp post’ photos taken that fine day.

Brest remains the home port of beautiful La Recouvrance.

Amusingly, the cannon for La Recouvrance were supplied by Martin Bibbings of the (English) Trafalgar Gun Company.

Martin is now retired however his son now runs the business (March 2021), described his products as “the ultimate executive toys”.

La Recouvrance, Pirate, privateercorsair, 

La Recouverence (detail 2)
La Recouvrance (detail 2)

La Recouvrance is a beautifully crafted accurate replica of a typical French commerce raider of the ‘Nelson Period’, the Napoleonic Wars.

Privateers :

Ships like La Recouvrance, private war ships, “privateers”, carried  a government’s “letter of marque” giving them a warrant to attack & capture enemy merchant ships for profit but not neutral ships thus she was a pirate with a ‘licence’ in the eyes of many.

The letter of marque was also sometimes called ‘une lettre de course’, hence ‘Corsair’.

FR: Un corsaire est une personne (le plus souvent l’armateur, le capitaine ou le membre de l’équipage d’un navire civil armé) autorisée par une lettre de marque… de l’anglo-saxon « privateers ».

Painting La Recouverance, schooner of war, a detail
La Recouverance, painting

The term ‘corsair’ had in earlier ages been more closely associated with North African Muslim pirates who had from the time Islam first over ran North Africa relentlessly attacked Christian vessels.

The Muslims thereby doing much to prolong the post Roman period known as “The  Dark Ages”, and Muslims raided Christian lands as far afield as South West England, Ireland and northern France for loot, riches and slaves.

The fate of any Christian taken by ‘The Moors’ was a grim one.

The United States of America

fought a brief war with the Moors however it was the British Royal Navy that eventually solved the problem of  Moorish corsairs terminating their cruel history with the bombardment of Algiers in 1820.

French privateers like La Recouvrance kept the Royal Navy very busy and successfully captured some 10% of all British merchantmen.

Some of the privateers became very wealthy and famous men, still celebrated in France, especially at the former privateer’s nest, the lovely port of Saint Malo.

As my French friends in Brest put it, “you (British) won all the battles but we made the money!

A beautiful original marine painting,

I am very happy to have sold this marine painting to a couple who have become good friends in Brest so am occasionally able to see this painting again.

painting detail of sea for a French privateer,
La Recouvrance schooner, a sea detail

Many distinguished people and renowned companies chose Frickers paintings as you can discover by reading my illustrated résumée.

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Gordon Frickers © updated 13.07.24

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