Figurehead of the HMS Thames
© National Maritime Museum
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
On display in East Wing Vestibule
The Figurehead of HMS 'Thames' is a vigorously carved male head-and-shoulders bust, white-painted, of a scowling, bearded river god no doubt intended to represent the spirit of the River Thames. The base of the figure has a carved rope trim around it and the whole stands on an lettered black plinth.
H92.7 x W76.2 x D58.4 cms
Wood: Pine; Lead paint
The figurehead was housed in the Royal Naval Museum, South Kensington from 1869 before being moved the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. It was presented to the NMM by The Admiralty in September 1945. Loaned the National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar Square on 21/09/68, extended to April 1988 on 27/04/1983.
The 'Thames' was originally a present from the Ladies of London to the Government for use as a war ship. She was posted in ordinary service in Chatham between from 1824, before becoming a convict ship in 1841. As a convict hulk it was housed in Deptford 1842 to 1843, Chatham in 1844 and Bermuda between 1845 and 1863. She sank at her moorings off Boaz Island during a hurricane in Bermuda in 1863. Numerous references are made to the sinking of HMS 'Thame's in the 'Royal Gazette', the local Bermuda weekly, between June 1863 and May 1864.
National Maritime Museum
Royal Museums Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Ownership can be cited online
Accessible to public
Data verified by owner