Figurehead of the HMY Elfin

Basic Information

FigID
F0195
InstID
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the HMY Elfin
Vessel name
Elfin
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Royal Yacht
Copyright owner
© National Museum of the Royal Navy
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Museum of the Royal Navy
Current location
National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth
Location date

Physical Information

Description
This delicate figurehead is the bust of a blonde female, presumably the representation of an elf. She wears a white and dark green dress, with blue detail on the chest. She has long wavy blonde hair and is wearing a light brown hat. The figurehead is looking upwards.
Maker
Hellyer & Son
Date made
1849
Place made
Portsmouth
Size
Materials
Wood
Object history
There were several proposed sketches for this figurehead, all by Hellyer & Son of Portsmouth. The first was for a full length figure of £20 which was accepted by the Surveyor of the navy but unfortunately never created. Instead a bust design was chosen at the price of £5. The figurehead was first recorded after being removed from the ship in the 1911 Portsmouth Dockyard Museum catalogue, and remains there today.
Vessel history
'Elfin' was a paddle yacht powered by 20hp engines was built at Chatham Dockyard and launched in 1849. Her role was tender to the first Royal Yacht 'Victoria and Albert'. 'Elfin' acquired the name ‘the milk boat’ as she transported and delivered papers for the royal household between Portsmouth, Southampton, Isle of Wight and Osborne House. She was broken up in Portsmouth in 1901.
Bibliography
David Pulvertaft ‘The Warship Figureheads of Portsmouth’ (Stroud, 2009) p.78
Admiralty Catalogue (1911) No 343a

Ownership Information

Owner type
Public Institution
Owner name
National Museum of the Royal Navy
Contact details
HM Naval Base Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 3NU
Ownership can be cited online
Yes
Accessible to public
Yes
Data verified by owner
No
Date verified

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