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Figurehead of the Bosphorus
D1230-4
basic info
FigID
F0079
InstID
FHD0012
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the Bosphorus
Vessel name
Bosphorus
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Merchant
Copyright owner
© National Maritime Museum
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Current location
Tresco
Location date
11/02/2013
physical info
Description
It shows a presumably Turkish bearded figure in a jewelled turban round a red cap and wearing a cloak over a blue tunic with gilded tassel fastenings.
Maker
Unknown
Date made
Unknown
Place made
Unknown
Size
H107.9 x W38 x D36.8 cms
Materials
Wood
Object history
Accepted by HM Treasury in lieu of Estate Duty in 1979 from Robert Arthur Dorien-Smith. The collection was begun by Augustus Smith (1806-72) who leased the islands from the Duchy of Cornwall. The figureheads in the Valhalla Collection came from vessels wrecked on Scilly.
Vessel history
The 'Bosphorus', which was built and owned in the Isles of Scilly and known locally as the 'Old Turk'. Originally trading to the Mediterranean in the 1840s, the ship could well have been carrying salted pilchards from fish cellars then recently established. She was then owned jointly by William Tremenheere Johns and her master. According to her registration records her figurehead was removed in 1861, presumably at the time of her sale, and at some point came to the figurehead 'Valhalla' on Tresco. Her new owners registered her at Maldon, Essex, from 1865. She then worked on the British east coast, eventually going ashore without loss of life in the small hours of an October night in 1880, a mile south of Scarborough.

‘Bosphorus’ details at time of wreck. Wooden schooner of 199 tons, registered in Scilly, then Maldon. Built by William Mumford, St Mary’s, 1840. Dimensions (in feet and tenths): 89.0 x 22.3 x 14.3. Owner: H Clark, Maldon. Registered voyage: Portsmouth to the Tyne. Cargo: in ballast. Master at loss: Mulley. Wrecked: 29 October 1880.
Bibliography
‘Valhalla’ The Tresco Ships’ Figurehead Collection (NMM, 1984)
Ownership info
Owner type
Public Institution
Owner name
National Maritime Museum
Contact details
Royal Musems Greenwich, Park Row, London SE10 9NF
Ownership can be cited online
Yes
Accessible to public
Yes
Data verified by owner
Yes
Date verified