Figurehead of HMS Cleopatra

Basic Information

FigID
F0209
InstID
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of HMS Cleopatra
Vessel name
HMS Cleopatra
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Naval
Copyright owner
© National Museum of the Royal Navy
Copyright notes
Current location
National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth
Location date

Physical Information

Description
This figurehead is a representation of Cleopatra. The half length figure is draped in a blue tunic, matching her blue hair. The tunic is draped over her right shoulder leaving her left shoulder and breast uncovered.
Maker
Robert Hall of Rotherhithe
Date made
1835
Place made
Pembroke Dock
Size
Materials
Wood
Object history
There has been a lot of speculation over the history of this figurehead, where it came from and how it came to be at its current location. It was carved by Robert Hall of Rotherhithe for the price of £6.10.0. After the ship had been broken up in 1862 the figurehead became part of the Chatham collection, however, there was much confusion over whether it belonged to 'Cleopatra' or 'Gleaner' (1833). It was finally resolved after a photograph of the figurehead was found in the collection at HMS 'Ganges' alongside a caption that read ‘HMS Cleopatra from Chatham.’ The figurehead became part of the collection at The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) in 1984.
Vessel history
HMS 'Cleopatra' was built and launched from Pembroke Dock in April 1835. The 6th rate, 26 gun vessel saw service in South America, North America and the West Indies, winning battle honours in Burma in 1853. Her service ended in Chatham in 1855 where she was sold to Castle and Beech for breaking up 1862.
Bibliography
David Pulvertaft ‘The Warship Figureheads of Portsmouth’ (Stroud, 2009) p.60
Admiralty Catalogue(1911) No 183

Ownership Information

Owner type
Public Institution
Owner name
National Museum of the Royal Navy
Contact details
National Museum of the Royal Navy, HM Naval Base (PP66), Portsmouth PO1 3NH
Ownership can be cited online
Yes
Accessible to public
Yes
Data verified by owner
No
Date verified

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