Figurehead of a Collier Brig
© National Maritime Museum
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
On loan to Bembridge Maritime Museum, Isle of Wight
Polychrome figurehead of 19th-century collier brig, in the form of a half-length male figure in contemporary civilian dress of a red coat and black cravat/ bow-tie, with a high shirt collar. He is carved with a directness which gives him charm and vitality. As with some of the female figures of small ships there is a resemblance to Staffordshire Pottery. The ship from which this comes is not known but the portrait figure - of a long-nosed man with short hair and long sideburns - is probably that of its owner or someone in a related family.
H86.4 x W55.9 x D40.6 cms
Purchased on behalf of the NMM by Sir James Caird from Mr. H. Le Ney, 109 Cromwell Road, Whitstable, Kent for £15 in 1947 who said it had been washed ashore from a wreck. The nose was restored in 1951 in the museum workshops, modelled by the craftsman, Mr Barnes, who copied his own nose, looking into a mirror.
It is said to be from a north-eastern collier brig, which were typically of around 250 tons and carried about 20 keels (424 tons) of coal from the Tyne to London. The length of such ships was typically about 100 feet.
Peter Norton 'Figureheads' p.20
National Maritime Museum
Royal Museums Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Ownership can be cited online
Accessible to public
Data verified by owner