A Room within a Room: The Great Cabin on Vasa

Author(s): Simon Elgar

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Expressions of Social Space and Identity: Interior Furnishings and Clothing from the Swedish Warship Vasa of 1628." , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

The interior of the great cabin was a completely separate layer, comprising panelling, a coffered ceiling, and floor, of which over 90% survives. It covered the structural elements of the hull to give the impression of a room in the royal palace, a building rather than a shipboard space. Materials and joinery are the same as were used in shore-based architecture, and there is evidence that the craftsmen employed were the joiners from the palace, rather than the navy yard’s joiners, and the carvings were made by the same sculptors who were responsible for the carvings on the exterior of the hull. In total, it is the only royal quality interior which survives from the reign of Gustav II Adolf. This paper will present the primary features of the reconstructed interior, with particular attention to decorative themes and technical solutions for adapting the interior to a shipboard application.

Cite this Record

A Room within a Room: The Great Cabin on Vasa. Simon Elgar. 2020 ( tDAR id: 456969)


Cabins Joinery Vasa

Geographic Keywords

Temporal Keywords
17th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: 11.113; min lat: 55.34 ; max long: 24.167; max lat: 69.06 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 777