Figurehead of the RY Royal George

Basic Information

FigID
F0041
InstID
FHD0099
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the RY Royal George
Vessel name
RY Royal George
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Unknown
Copyright owner
© National Maritime Museum
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Current location
On display in the Atlantic Worlds Gallery, NMM
Location date
31/01/2013

Physical Information

Description
Gold-painted figurehead of the 330-ton royal yacht 'Royal George' ,1817, in the form of a classical-style bust of George III wearing a laurel wreath, with two supplicating African supporters. The supporters clearly relate to the 'Am I not a man and a brother?' emblem of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, the implication being that the figurehead commemorates the magnanimity of George III under whom the trade was formally abolished in 1807, exactly ten years before the yacht was built at Deptford Dockyard.
Maker
Grayfoot and Overton
Date made
1816
Place made
Unknown
Size
H193 x W91.4 x D101.6 cms
Materials
Wood: Mahogany, Lead paint
Object history
Transferred from the R.U.S.I. by the H.M. The Queen. This object came via the RUSI. According to the RUSI catalogue, 1932, p. 90, it was 'given by His Majesty King Edward VII', which indicates that the figurehead was not a loan in (as the old card catalogue might imply) and was free to become part of our permanent collection.
Vessel history
The RY Royal George was paid off to the Harbour Service in 1843 on commissioning of a new Royal Yacht, the Victoria and Albert. The Royal George served as an accomodation hulk for the V&A before being sold for breaking up in 1905.
Bibliography
David Pulvertaft 'Figureheads Of The Royal Navy(Seaforth, 2011) p.227

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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