HMS Nymph Paperweight in Virgin Island Fossil Coral
Purchase one of these beautiful, and difficult to make,
Paperweights as a gift for a treasured friend.
Paperweights will forever be a reminder of quieter times
before everything was "on disk".
Use this on your desk, if you still have those piles of paper, or otherwise just
use it to prop up your invitations on the mantelpiece.
His Majesty King George II’s Ship “Nymph”
14-gun (later 16-gun) 6th rate Swan-class ship rigged sloop
Tons burthen: 301 87/94 bm, Complement: 125 officers and men
Length: 96 ft 7 in (29.4 m) (overall); 78 ft 10 in (24.0 m) (keel)
Beam: 26 ft 10 in (8.2 m; Depth of hold: 12 ft 10 in (3.91 m)
Armament: Upper deck: 14 x 6 pounders (later 16);
Quarterdeck: 8 x ½ pounder swivels, Forecastle: 4 x ½ pounder swivels.
Construction: Nymph was ordered from Chatham Dockyard in England on 8
January 1777 and laid down there in April that year under master shipwright
Israel Pownoll. She was launched on 27 May 1778 and completed by 27 July 1778.
She cost a total of £8,640.13.4d to build, including money spent on fitting and
coppering her. Armed with 14 6 pounder guns originally, she was later fitted to
carry 16 guns by Admiralty orders of 1779 and 1780.
Service: Nymph was commissioned in May 1778 under Commander William Denne,
and served in the English Channel. She came under Commander John Blankett in
January 1779 and sailed for the East Indies on 8 March that year to join
Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Hughes' East India fleet. Her role was to protect
English interests and island inhabitants from French and American privateers and
her duties included protecting interests in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras and
serving as an escort to East India merchant convoys. In January 1780 she came
under Commander William Stevens, who went on to capture the American letter of
marque Racoon on 9 October 1781, and, while sailing in company with HMS Amphion,
took the American privateers Royal Louis on 9 October and Rambler on 30 October
1781. She remained in the East Indies into 1782, during which time Commander
John Sutton took over.
Refit and visit to West Indies: Nymph returned to Britain later in 1782 and was
refitted and re-coppered at Plymouth between August and October. Commander
Richard Hill then took command, and Nymph sailed for the Leeward Islands on 5
December to join Admiral Hugh Pigot and Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Hughes, of the
Lesser Antilles squadron.
Sinking: On 28 June 1783, in Road Harbour, Tortola, BVI, just before 11
pm, Nymph was found to be on fire. Aid was sent from shore and from nearby
ships, but smoke and flames defeated efforts. The ship was abandoned to burn
out, with the loss of three servicemen. At a Court Martial assembled on board
HMS Enterprise at Antigua on the 4 August, 1783, fault was found to be owing to
the carelessness of the purser’s steward with the cooper’s lights in the steward
or slop rooms. Commander Richard Hill, his officers and crew were acquitted from
fault of the loss.
Discovery: In February 1969, dredging in Road Harbour revealed the
remains of the Nymph and other vessels. Artifacts were removed, but no
archaeological survey or site excavation was conducted. In 2005, before further
dredging operations, teams from University of Bristol dived in Road Harbour in
efforts to locate and complete a full survey of the remains of HMS Nymph and the
About Sloops: In the 18th century, a sloop-of-war was a small sailing
warship with a single gun deck that carried up to eighteen guns. A sloop-of-war
was quite different from a civilian or mercantile sloop, which was a general
term for a single masted vessel rigged like what we would today call a gaff
cutter. The first three-masted (i.e. "ship rigged") sloops appeared during the
1740s, and from the mid-1750s most new sloops were built with a three-masted
Paperweight: Nymph is presented here under full plain sail (normal
working sails). In fair weather she might also have carried studding sails on
the outer ends of the yards and also one or two spritsails below the bowsprit.
Shown are representations of her 16 gun ports, the after cabin side windows and
the ship’s boarding ladder, which was built into the side of the vessel.
Virgin Island Fossil Coral Paperweights are not painted......
Virgin Island Fossil Coral Paperweights are not painted — they are made with plain and colored coral. Every
paperweight made is unique. First the relief is made and then the background, tinted with a different color, is added afterwards. Every
paperweight is completely hand made. The technique of the artisan in laying in the colors, the batch of white fossil coral prepared for use, the temperature, the humidity, all affect how the colors will flow. No two will ever be exactly the same. All our pieces are all individually made. The Coral Studio employs no mass production techniques, only skilled craftspeople.