The original drawings of this galley are from Traitté de la construction des galères a French book written in 1691, although the drawings you hold in this product are completely original. For more information about the galley you can consult the wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Galley). Below you can find a brief excerpt:
A galley (from Greek .a.ea - galea) is an ancient ship which can be propelled entirely by human oarsmen, used for warfare and trade. Oars are known from at least the time of the Egyptian Old Kingdom. Many galleys had masts and sails for use when the winds were favourable.
Various types of galleys dominated naval warfare in the Mediterranean Sea from the time of Homer to the development of effective naval gunnery around the 15th and 16th centuries. Galleys fought in the wars of ancient Persia, Greece, Carthage and Rome until the 4th century. After the fall of the Roman Empire galleys remained in use to a lesser extent by the Byzantine Navy and other successors of the Roman Empire, and by new Muslim states. Medieval Mediterranean states, notably the Italian maritime republics including Venice, Pisa, and Genoa, used galleys until the ocean-going man-of-war made them obsolete. The Battle of Lepanto (1571) was one of the largest naval battles in which galleys played the principal part. Galleys continued in mainstream use until the introduction of broadside sailing ships of war into the Mediterranean in the 17th Century, and continued to be used in minor roles until the advent of steam propulsion.