Figurehead of the HMS Orestes

Basic Information

FigID
F0226
InstID
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the HMS Orestes
Vessel name
HMS Orestes
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Naval
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 male figurehead is a portrayal of Orestes, son of Agamemnon and king of Mycenae and Argos. He avenged his father’s death by killing his mother. The clean shaven male bust wears a helmet with armour protecting his upper arms over which is draped a classical tunic.
Maker
Hellyer
Date made
1824
Place made
Portsmouth Dockyard
Size
Materials
Wood
Object history
No records for when it was removed from the ship possibly sometime between 1905 and 1911. It was probably at Portsmouth before 1911 but is not listed in the Admiralty catalogue of this date, although it is listed in the Portsmouth Museum Catalogue of 1911. It now resides in the Portsmouth Dockyard Museum.
Vessel history
HMS 'Orestes' 18 guns sloop, 460bm, 110ft was built in 1924 at Portsmouth Dockyard and was launched from there in May of the same year. It is the fifth ship of its name and was sent to the Douro River on the outbreak of the civil war in Portugal in 1832. HMS 'Orestes' also served in the Mediterranean and on the Cape of Good Hope station, before returning to Portsmouth. She became a coal depot in 1852. In about 1911, Orestes was sold for commercial use.
Bibliography
David Pulvertaft ‘The Warship Figureheads of Portsmouth’ (Stroud, 2009) p.48

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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