Figurehead of the Mary Hay
©National Maritime Museum
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Elegant white and gilded half-length female figurehead, apparently in an evening gown with a high waistband and shawl,the hair dressed high, supported on a black and gilded scroll.
H167.6 x W62 x D56 cms
Accepted by HM Treasury in lieu of Estate Duty in 1979 from Robert Arthur Dorien-Smith. The collection was begun by Augustus Smith (1806-72) who leased the islands from the Duchy of Cornwall. The figureheads in the Valhalla Collection came from vessels wrecked on Scilly.
'Mary Hay' was a barque of 258 tons, built at Peterhead in 1837 and owned by Volum & Co. She was approaching Broad Sound, Scilly, in April 1852, inward bound from Jamaica with a mixed cargo including rum and sugar, and with a local pilot on board. Just after he went below to take a meal, rather than eating on deck, she hit Steeple Rock and began to make water. She anchored near Samson, pumping continuously but to no avail since several hours later she turned over with a sudden lurch. All hands were saved.
‘Valhalla’ The Tresco Ships’ Figurehead Collection (NMM, 1984)
National Maritime Museum
Royal Museums Greenwich, Park Row, London SE10 9NF
Ownership can be cited online
Accessible to public
Data verified by owner