Le Phenix - 1669 French Gun ShipThe Le Phenix was purpose built as a battleship by Francois Coulomb in France between 1664 and 1669.There were a total of three levels on it, including the gun deck which held 86 guns. The length of the gun deck itself was approximately 144 feet. The decks were known as the quarterdeck, the upper gun deck and the lower gun deck. The commander of this French gun ship was the level of Capitaine de Vaisseau or ship-of-the-line Captain - The equivalent of a navy frigate captain in today's ranking.The stunning ship was able to withstand a significant amount of pressure in the waters, which is why it was one of the most powerful battleships that were created during the 17th century. The French were known for what they could build and there were many other countries that were envious of their abilities. This was one of the many reasons that Le Phenix was a sought after trophy to be destroyed in battle.The ship is one of the larger battleships that were built during that time yet it was nothing short of beautiful.
Le Phenix - 1669 French Gunship
Jean Bonzi (left) with his friend. Both have their pet monkeys and Jean also has his little black puppy in his arms.
The beauty of Le Phenix speaks for itself in so many magnificent representations of it that enthusiasts have spent hundreds of hours to create.One of these stunning models (pictured) was created by J. E. G. Bonzi. Each piece was hand built from items that he salvaged using only an old picture as reference and without the benefit of detailed plans.The story goes that there is a one dollar bill built into the hull.J Bonzi was himself a stunning and fascinating human being. Jean was a French Legionnaire, an adventurer, a highly decorated war hero and most of all a family man who left this intricate piece along with his medals (pictured) to his family.