Figurehead of the Coriolanus

Basic Information

FigID
F0012
InstID
FHD0071
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the Coriolanus
Vessel name
Coriolanus
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Merchant
Copyright owner
© National Maritime Museum
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Current location
On display in Neptune Court, NMM
Location date
28/01/2013

Physical Information

Description
White-painted figurehead of the iron merchant sailing ship 'Coriolanus' , 1876, in the form of a male bust in armour and helmet, representing the Roman general Gaius Marcus Coriolanus (most familiar through Shakespeare's bloody tragedy based on him). The figure is supported by foliate carving. This figurehead is in fact a replacement, having been carved in 1902 after the original full-length one was lost when the ship went aground in Algoa Bay, South Africa, during a hurricane.
Maker
Unknown
Date made
1902(replacement)
Place made
Unknown
Size
H133 x W55 x D74 cms
Materials
Wood
Object history
Purchased by Captain Harry Neyland, New Bedford, USA in April 1931 and removed from ship.
Purchased at aution by Mr. Earl B. Smith for $300 in September 1933.
Acquired by the Museum from The Mariners Museum, Virginia in 1980 in exchange for a model of a 90-gun ship of the early 18th century.
Vessel history
The 'Coriolanus' was an Iron Sailing Ship, built by A. McMillan & Son at Dumbarton, Scotland, for J. Patton Jnr & Son, London. She measured 217.4 x 35.2 x 20.1 feet and was of 1555 tons (gross registered). She went through 13 subsequent changes of ownership: British to 1891, German from 1892 to 1902, Norwegian 1903-21, American 1922-23, Portuguese (first Lisbon and subsequently Cape Verde Islands) 1924-34, and American again in 1935. She was scrapped at Falls River, Massachusetts, in 1936. From 1922 to 1924 she was renamed 'Tiburon' and then 'Eugenia Emilia', in 1925 'Lima' and in 1930 'Coriolanus'.
Bibliography

Ownership Information

Owner type
Public Institution
Owner name
National Maritime Museum
Contact details
Royal Museums Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Ownership can be cited online
Yes
Accessible to public
Yes
Data verified by owner
Yes
Date verified

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