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Model war frigate to be unveiled at library


On July 25, 2008, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library unveils a nearly 200-year-old model warship on long-term loan by the LeBoutillier family. This 11:00AM event takes place at the Children’s Library at Main Library, 325 Michigan St., Toledo.


Members of the LeBoutillier family and Library officials will speak during the news conference about the recently refurbished model, which features detailed masterwork and  represents a two-deck, 60-cannon fighting ship. The public is welcome to attend.

The model was built in 1820 by Thomas LeBoutillier, who lived on the English Channel island of Guernsey, located some 30 miles from the north coast of France and 70 miles from the south coast of England.


The French model warship’s measurements are 65 inches x 82.5 inches x 17.5 inches and it is located in the Read Aloud Room in the Children’s Library. A special cabinet was built to house the recently refurbished model, known as a war frigate.


A frigate is known as a medium-sized warship with three masts and square sails. The most famous American frigate is the USS Constitution or “Old Ironsides.”


The model warship, known for its painstakingly detailed rigging, has had many travels. In 1912, it was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1931 The Marine Museum of New York City borrowed it for an exhibit on the history of New York’s port.  Damaged, it was returned to the Metropolitan Museum in 1942.


 In 1953 the family requested the model back. Philip LeBoutillier Jr. oversaw an extensive restoration by Gael Fisher and placed it in the Toledo Zoological Society Museum.


In 1990 it was moved to the Melvin Pelfrey Building. In 1994 Philip LeBoutillier, Jr., provided it on permanent loan to the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.  The model war frigate spent time in the late 1990s on display in the Library’s Local History Department before being refurbished for its current display in Children’s Library.


For more details, please call 419.259.5207.






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