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Figurehead of the HMS Minerva
Minerva large
basic info
Figurehead type
Figurehead of the HMS Minerva
Vessel name
HMS Minerva
Type (Naval/Merchant)
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 info
The figurehead is a bust representing the goddess Minerva, the daughter of Jupiter and Roman goddess, patron of war and the arts. The figure is helmeted and wears scaled armour. The base of the bust is draped in carved cloth.
Hellyer and Son
Date made
Place made
Portsmouth Dockyard
Wood (covered in thin coat of fibreglass c.1967)
Object history
A design for a full length figure was turned down by the Surveyor of the Navy as it was intended for a relatively small ship. Previously privately owned by the Bevis family. The figurehead was given to NMRN in 1967.
Vessel history
The ship was built and launched from Portsmouth Dockyard in June 1820. She was a 5th rate, 46 gun, Leda class vessel. After an uneventful history, never seeing much action, the HMS 'Minerva' was back at Portsmouth by 1848. In 1870 she became a workshop for artificers of the Steam Reserve until she was finally broken up in 1895 by Bevis Engineering & Shipbreaking Co.
David Pulvertaft ‘The Warship Figureheads of Portsmouth’ (Stroud, 2009) p.40
Admiralty Catalogue(1911) No 434
Ownership info
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
Accessible to public
Data verified by owner
Date verified