Hugon des Prey, captain of the Aimable Grenot

The archives of the city of Granville were destroyed in the Second World War, and thus we are unable to trace the full history of the Aimable Grenot and those who commissioned her. Nevertheless, archival sources tell us that this frigate took part in two major campaigns of commerce raiding prior to the signature of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in October 1748, which brought the War of the Austrian Succession to a close. After this, it was used for trading with Cadiz. In addition, from outfitting rolls preserved in the Service Historique de la Marine in Cherbourg, we learn that the ship had two captains, Pierre de la Houssaye until November 1747, followed by Joseph François Hugon, sieur du Prey, who was at the helm when the ship foundered on 6 May 1749. To satisfy their curiosity, archaeologists also turned to the collections of the Morlaix Admiralty, which are preserved in Brest; in 1747 and 1748, the various voyages of the Aimable Grenot were reported in Morlaix. They gave rise to a great many appearances of its successive captains and prize captains before the Lieutenant Général et procureur du Roy de l’Amirauté de Morlaix to report an ever-growing number of prize ships. Both captains of the Aimable Grenot distinguished themselves by their daring, and the ship's reputation quickly became legendary.

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A. Fux © Musée national de la Marine
Nowadays, Sohlingen is a small village, but for nearly four hundred years it was home to a prestigious cutlery workshop renowned for its tempered steel. One particularity of the workshop was that each production was signed either with the name of the cutler or the furbisher who ordered it. We know very little about Charles Le Conardel; several cutlery-makers and small arms manufacturers in Saint-Lo had the same last name, notably Alphonse Conardel, so Charles was likely a member of the same family. The state of this sabre leads one to think that it was rarely or never used. It was probably a ceremonial piece, perhaps made for the builder of the Aimable Grenot, a friend of his, or one of the ship's two captains.
Recently acquired from a collector by the Musée National de la Marine, this sabre, engraved with LAimable Grenot is signed by C. Le Conardel Founy La Marine auprès Notre Dame a St Lo. On the blade one can see Faict a Sohlingen (Made in Sohlingen). This German city northwest of Göttingen should not be confused with the cutlery-making city of Solingen, which is east of Düsseldorf. (N° inv. 2003.40.1)
A. Fux © Musée national de la Marine
Nowadays, Sohlingen is a small village, but for nearly four hundred years it was home to a prestigious cutlery workshop renowned for its tempered steel. One particularity of the workshop was that each production was signed either with the name of the cutler or the furbisher who ordered it. We know very little about Charles Le Conardel; several cutlery-makers and small arms manufacturers in Saint-Lo had the same last name, notably Alphonse Conardel, so Charles was likely a member of the same family. The state of this sabre leads one to think that it was rarely or never used. It was probably a ceremonial piece, perhaps made for the builder of the Aimable Grenot, a friend of his, or one of the ship's two captains.
Recently acquired from a collector by the Musée National de la Marine, this sabre, engraved with LAimable Grenot is signed by C. Le Conardel Founy La Marine auprès Notre Dame a St Lo. On the blade one can see Faict a Sohlingen (Made in Sohlingen). This German city northwest of Göttingen should not be confused with the cutlery-making city of Solingen, which is east of Düsseldorf. (N° inv. 2003.40.1)
A. Fux © Musée national de la Marine
Nowadays, Sohlingen is a small village, but for nearly four hundred years it was home to a prestigious cutlery workshop renowned for its tempered steel. One particularity of the workshop was that each production was signed either with the name of the cutler or the furbisher who ordered it. We know very little about Charles Le Conardel; several cutlery-makers and small arms manufacturers in Saint-Lo had the same last name, notably Alphonse Conardel, so Charles was likely a member of the same family. The state of this sabre leads one to think that it was rarely or never used. It was probably a ceremonial piece, perhaps made for the builder of the Aimable Grenot, a friend of his, or one of the ship's two captains.
Recently acquired from a collector by the Musée National de la Marine, this sabre, engraved with LAimable Grenot is signed by C. Le Conardel Founy La Marine auprès Notre Dame a St Lo. On the blade one can see Faict a Sohlingen (Made in Sohlingen). This German city northwest of Göttingen should not be confused with the cutlery-making city of Solingen, which is east of Düsseldorf. (N° inv. 2003.40.1)

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