Figurehead of the HMS London

Basic Information

FigID
F0033
InstID
FHD0091
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the HMS London
Vessel name
HMS London
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Naval
Copyright owner
© National Maritime Museum
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Current location
On display in Neptune Court, NMM
Location date
30/01/2013

Physical Information

Description
Polychrome-painted, pine figurehead of HMS 'London', in the form of a female figure wearing a mural crown (a traditional attribute of cities) which may be based on the White Tower in the Tower of London. '1861' (which, if a date, is not easily explained) is inscribed in the stem post. The right eye is notably higher than the left.
Maker
Unknown
Date made
Unknown
Place made
Unknown
Size
H215.9 x W116.8 x D58.4 cms
Materials
Wood: Pine
Object history
The figurehead was originally housed in the second floor of the Rigging House in Devonport Dockyard, and was presented to the NMM by the Admiralty in 1936.Figurehead was loaned to the Museum of London in November 1976.
Figurehead loaned to Kultursiftung Ruhr Exhibition at the Villa Hugel, Essen, Germany between 4th of June and 8th of November 1992.
Vessel history
HMS 'London' of 1840, was a 92-gun second-rate built at Chatham Dockyard but converted to steam auxiliary at Devonport in 1858, with 72 guns. From 1874 to 1881 she was the harbour guard and store ship at Zanzibar, where she served as the Royal Navy's base for suppression of the slave trade on the east coast of Africa. She was sold there for breaking up in 1884. Photographs of her at Zanzibar show a more elegant figurehead which replaced this, the original one.
Bibliography
Admiralty Catalogue(1911) No 431

Ownership Information

Owner type
Public Institution
Owner name
National Maritime Museum
Contact details
Royal Museums Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Ownership can be cited online
Yes
Accessible to public
Yes
Data verified by owner
Yes
Date verified

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