Figurehead of the HMS Horatio

Basic Information

FigID
F0026
InstID
FHD0084
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the HMS Horatio
Vessel name
HMS Horatio
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Naval
Copyright owner
© National Maritime Museum
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Current location
On display in Neptune Court, NMM
Location date
30/01/2013

Physical Information

Description
Polychrome painted bust-length figurehead of HMS 'Horatio'. It represents Admiral Lord Nelson (1758-1805), in uniform, wearing a laurel wreath. Nelson lost effective sight in his right eye in 1794, though not the eye itself, at the siege of Calvi, Corsica. With rather naive charm, the figurehead represents this by showing the right eye shut. Laminate wood construction with a separate head.
Maker
George Parson
Date made
1837
Place made
Burseldon
Size
H175.3 x W83.8 x D91.4 cms
Materials
Wood: Pine; Lead Paint
Object history
The figurehead was housed in Fire Engine House, South Yard, Devonport Dockyard until being presented to the NMM by the Admiralty in 1936.
Vessel history
The HMS Horatio, a fifth-rate, 38-gun frigate was strictly speaking the first Royal Naval one to commemorate him but the only one ever called 'Horatio' (apart from a couple of 20th-century armed trawlers). She was built on contract by Parson's at Bursledon, Hampshire, in 1807 but is noted as being 'completed as a screw ship' only in 1850. In 1865 she was sold and broken up by Castle's at Charlton, on the Thames below Greenwich. The 'Nelson' - a 120-gun first-rate of 1814 - began the longer tradition of major ships of that name commemorating the admiral.
Bibliography
David Pulvertaft'Figureheads Of The Royal Navy(Seaforth, 2011) p.98
Admirtalty Catalogue(1911) No 423

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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