The figureheads database contains records of over 300 figureheads.
You can either search directly or browse through the categories
Jester or Clown
F0028 Figureheads - Unidentified Jester - FHD0086
basic info
FigID
F0028
InstID
FHD0086
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Jester or Clown
Vessel name
Unidentified
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Unknown, but presumably naval (see Vessel History)
Copyright owner
© National Maritime Museum
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Current location
On display in the All Hands Gallery, NMM
Location date
30/01/2013
physical info
Description
Polychrome-painted, restored, figurehead depicting a jester or clown, at full length but entirely armless, in a costume similar to traditional motley, with bells on the tunic, a cloak behind and a fool's cap. The words 'HERE WE ARE AGAIN' are inscribed on the supporting stem-post. This is a catch-phrase originally associated with the great pantomime clown Joseph Grimaldi (1779-1837), and the face might be intended as a likeness, though the costume is not the clown's dress in which Grimaldi is generally recorded.
Maker
Unknown
Date made
Unknown
Place made
Unknown
Size
H162.6 x W38 x D40.6 cms
Materials
Wood
Object history
Figurehead was presented to the NMM by the Admiralty in 1936 after residing in Rigging House, Davenport Dockyard.
Vessel history
The ship for which it was made is not known but was presumably Naval, since it was presented by the Admiralty in 1936 from the Rigging House at Devonport Dockyard. It may be from the wooden screw gunboat 'Clown' - or one of the class to which this gave its name - built by Miller at Liverpool in 1856. In 1867 'Clown' was converted to a coal hulk (later called YC1 and YC6) and was lost in 1871, though the circumstances remain to be investigated. The complete and undisguised lack of arms is unusual on such realistic a figure, however, if it was allowed to decay or suffer other damage the 'smoothed-off' shoulders may have been a form of tidying up rather than doing a more elaborate repair. (NMM negs: bow on B&W, 1957; starboard bow B&W/col tran. B3837)
Bibliography
Admiralty Catalogue(1911) No 427
Ownership info
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