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Maritime Art, Military, French Battleship Napoleon, Antique Print, Berlin, Mid 19th C.


The French Screw Steamer Napoleon/
Der französische Schraubendampfer Napoleon
Verlag Isidor Rocca, Berlin: Mid 19th Century
Hand-colored lithograph
10.25 x 15.25 inches, image
14 x 19 inches, overall

Illustration of the French battleship Le Napoléon, a screw steamer, together with various other boats, on rough high seas. The print is titled in German and English in the lower margin. The publisher, Verlag Isidor Rocca, apparently published a series of maritime lithographs in a similar format in the 1850s and 1860s including steamers and whaling ships. Another example of this print is in the Norwegian (Norsk) Maritime Museum in Oslo.

Product description continues below.


The Napoléon was a 90-gun ship of the line of the French Navy launched in 1850. It was the first screw battleship and the first purpose-built steam battleship in the world. Indeed, it was the lead ship of a class of nine battleships, all built for the French Navy over a period of ten years. The ship’s designer, Henri Dupuy de Lôme, took the innovative and experimental approach of utilizing steam technology with screw propellers as opposed to paddle wheels. This allowed cannon placement along the sides of the ship without any side wheels in the way. During the Crimean War, which began in 1853, the Napoléon’s performance attracted attention for the advantages of the design, and the many of the world’s fleets soon followed to convert to steam-powered battleships. In this period, the French built 10 new steam battleships and converted 28 from older designs, and the British built 18 and converted 41.

Verlag Isidor Rocca was a lithograph print publisher in Berlin, Germany, active from at least 1848 to 1871. The firm published lithographs of various subjects, including maritime, portraits, and genre subjects.

Full publication information: Verlag v Isidor Rocca in Berlin, Carlottenstr[asse] 25.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Faint shadow of former matting in outer margin, unobtrusive and can be rematted out.


“French battleship Napoléon.” Wikipedia. 25 February 2018. (2 October 2018).

Additional information


19th Century