Figurehead of the Alessandro il Grande

Basic Information

FigID
F0083
InstID
FHD0023
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the Alessandro il Grande
Vessel name
Alessandro il Grande
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Merchant
Copyright owner
© National Maritime Museum
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Current location
Tresco
Location date
11/02/2013

Physical Information

Description
Polychrome and gilded bust-length figurehead from the wooden brig 'Alessandro il Grande' of Venice (an Austrian city at the time it was probably made). It is a portrait of Tsar Alexander I of Russia (reigned 1801-25) shown in black military dress, with epaulettes, decorations and a red sash.
Maker
Unknown
Date made
Unknown
Place made
Unknown
Size
H106.7 x W61 x D40.6 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
While sheltering in St Mary’s Roads on New Year’s Day, 1851, her anchor cables parted and she was driven onto the Mare Ledges off the south of Tresco at 22.00. She was a total loss, although there was an opportunity to recover the ship’s stores and there were no casualties.

‘Alessandro Il Grande’ details at time of wreck. Wooden barque of 289 tons, registered in Venice. Builder: not known, and date only presumed to be 1801-25 if contemporary with Alexander's reign. Dimensions (in feet and tenths): not known. Owner: not known. Registered voyage: Galway to Cardiff. Cargo: in ballast. Master at loss: Santo Amadeo Gavaquin. Wrecked: 1 January 1851.
Bibliography
''Valhalla' The Tresco Ships' Figurehead Collection' (NMM, 1984)

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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