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Figurehead from Nelson's Funeral Car
F0035 Figureheads - Nelsons Funeral Car - FHD0093
basic info
FigID
F0035
InstID
FHD0093
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead from Nelson's Funeral Car
Vessel name
Nelson's Funeral Car
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Naval
Copyright owner
© National Maritime Museum
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Current location
On display in the Maritime London Gallery, NMM
Location date
30/01/2013
physical info
Description
Figurehead of Nelson's funeral car, the design of which was based on that of a ship, with a beakhead and transom. The carving represents a dark-haired, semi-naked female figure of 'Victory' and/or 'Fame' holding a laurel wreath and palm branch. Her white classical robe is knotted at the waist and is bisected by the supporting beakhead bracket.
Maker
Unknown
Date made
Unknown
Place made
Unknown
Size
H104 x W74.9 x D44.4 cms
Materials
Wood: Pine; Oil paint
Object history
After the funeral the carriage/funeral car was displayed in the vestibule of the Painted Hall at Greenwich Hospital. It had disintegrated by 1835, although there is evidence that it that this may have happened earlier (see Matthew Henry Barker 'The Old Sailor': Tough Yarns, 1835) and Joseph Allen in a footnote in his 'Life of Nelson' (1853) says it was broken up as decayed ‘about 1826’. The figurehead is the largest of the few elements saved (see also REL0177.1, REL0177.2) when the car was dismantled after spending the 20 years since Nelson's funeral on display in the Painted Hall. The figurehead was then in the collection of Lt. William Rivers R.N., who was on board the Victory at Trafalgar. It was then sold at Forsters Gallery in 1905 for 20 Guineas. The figurehead was purchased by the NMM from the Rev. Elphinstone Rivers and Mr. Stanley Rivers in December, 1938.
Vessel history
Bibliography
See Matthew Henry Barker 'The Old Sailor': Tough Yarns, 1835
Joseph Allen in a footnote in his 'Life of Nelson' (1853)
Ownership info
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