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Picks and Pans Review: Sailing Ships

updated 09/24/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/24/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Ron Van der Meer and Dr. Alan McGowan

The publisher who gave the world Jonathan Miller's pop-up book of the human body has now come forth with a history of sailing ships. In this case paper vessels float right out from between the pages, where they are folded away. The first in the book, the Flying Dutchman dinghy, veers at an angle with a sailor suspended over the side. The carved hull of a Viking ship under construction thrusts out from the following pages. There's a sixth-century skin boat, a 1066 Bayeaux Tapestry ship—the kind used by William the Conqueror and often included on tapestries—and a Chinese junk. The cog, a cargo ship from Northern Europe of the 13th and 14th centuries, has a multicolored sail. A small, three-masted ship, like those that first sailed to America, has officers on the bridge. The book winds up with a magnificent 26-sail clipper ship that belongs in a bottle. These amazing illustrations were painted by Borje Svensson; the designer was Van der Meer, while McGowan, of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, supplied the too brief text. (Viking, $ 18.95)

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