© Joachim Müllerschön


Segelschiffsmodellbau, Bücher, Segeln
English Version

Chris Coyle, Moderator MSW

Okay, raise your hand if, like me, your attention to the matter of which shade of blue to slap on a model is or was heavily

influenced by whatever shade you happened to have on hand. Anybody? Well, perhaps I'm not quite as inattentive to detail as

I've just suggested, but this book did enlighten me to the fact that there is blue, and then there is historically correct blue.

There are several things that you will notice about this nifty little volume when you first lay hold of it. First is that the title

runs from bottom-to-top along the spine in the German fashion, which makes sense since the author is German. Happily for all

of us English speakers, the English version of The Color Blue in Historic Shipbuilding has been nicely edited by native English-

speaker (well, Canadian -- close enough ?? ) David Antscherl, so it reads very well. Upon flipping the book open to any page, one

notices a wealth of illustrations, consisting in the main of various models, paintings, full-size vessels, and artifacts that

demonstrate the use of blue down through the ages. If you turn to the back of the book, you'll find eighteen pages of

references, which show that Dr. Muellerschoen is no slouch when it comes to doing thorough research, and the depth and

breadth of the information he provides is proof of that. And finally, something that is not immediately obvious is that this very

nice looking book is self-published and shows the high quality of product that is now possible when choosing this particular

publishing option.

The title of the book is perhaps a little misleading, but not in a bad way. The discussion is not strictly limited to the use of blue

in shipbuilding, but covers a number of related topics as well, beginning first of all with historical context. I found it

particularly interesting to learn that some cultures had no word for blue, or else lumped it in with green and/or gray. Today of

course we associate blue with royalty, but Dr. Muellerschoen shares some fascinating insight on how very much differently blue

was viewed, figuratively, by ancient cultures, citing diverse examples from Egypt to East Asia and points in between.

The history of blue is followed by the science of blue, with particular attention given to the sources of various blue pigments.

It's very interesting to learn some of the history of these pigments and goes some ways toward explaining why we see particular

shades of blue in different time periods and locations.

Dr. Muellerschoen also devotes page space to describing how blue was used in applications other than shipbuilding such as

architecture and various forms of art. Not surprisingly, as Dr. Muellerschoen points out, blue and other colors were used in ways

that might seem rather strange to our western notions of color, shade, and hue.

The bulk of the book, as the title suggests, is devoted to an overview of blue in shipbuilding, from ancient times to 'modern', i.e.

the early 19th century. This survey covers not only European conventions but those of other cultures as well, including examples

from the Mediterranean, the Far East and elsewhere. There is something of interest here for builders of just about every kind of

wooden ship construction out there. The photos in this section are a wealth of images of modern and contemporary models,

preserved and reconstructed ships, and a good number and variety of contemporary paintings. This book is as much a pleasure to

look at as it is to read.

When the publication of this book was first announced, there were a few people who wondered aloud just how much could be

written about such a seemingly narrow and esoteric subject. Folks needn't have worried -- Dr. Muellerschoen has produced a very

engaging and attractive volume that is deserving of a place in any nautical history buff's library.

Daniel Fischer, Admin

Interessant zu lesende Reise durch Zeiten, Kulturen und deren Verwendung der Farbe Blau

Joachim Müllerschön nimmt uns hier zu einer höchst interessanten und kurzweiligen Reise mit, die durch 5.500 Jahre Geschichte

der Farbe Blau, ihrer allgemeinen Verwendung, ihrer Herstellung, ihrer Symbolik und Anwendung in Kunst, Architektur und im

täglichen Leben geht.

Im Speziellen wird das Thema in der Verwendung des Blau im historischen Schiffbau vertieft. Hier wird ein umfassender Bogen

von den Schiffen der Antike bis hin zur ersten Hälfte des 19 Jahrhunderts gespannt, gegliedert nach den Marinen der einzelnen

europäischen Nationen und anderer Kulturkreise. Futter für all diejenigen, die sich schon mit dem kontroversen Thema der

Farbe Blau im Schiffbau beschäftigt haben.

Leicht zu lesen ohne ins zu akademische abzudriften, immer gut verständlich und vor allem gut recherchiert. Dabei wurden

neben Artefakten viele Quellen aus Texten und Dokumenten, Architektur, Kunst herangezogen. Die daraus resultierenden 18

Seiten Quellen- und Literaturnachweise sprechen für sich. Dabei in den Zitaten knapp und auf das Wesentliche konzentriert.

Gute, vielfältige und durchgehend farbige Bebilderung verstärken Genuss und unterstreicht die dazugehörenden


Nicht nur für Interessierte der historischen Schifffahrt interessant.