11 :: Chinese Junk

In the second part of the 13th century, Marco Polo was already admiring junks. This name, however, was only later attributed to them, after the Portuguese in the 16th century transformed the Javanese name djong into junco.

 

The Chinese were able to adapt their ships to coastal, river, and even ocean sailing. The main characteristic of these multi-masted (often three) ships, whose origin is lost in the mists of time, is their sails. These, handled skilfully, remain effective at all points of sail.

 

The sails’ rigging sculpted by Lecouvie, inspired by yards rather than barred braids, is a bit heavy; but we should be grateful to him for having reserved space for a timeless marvel, the Chinese junk.