Figurehead of the Falkland

Basic Information

FigID
F0085
InstID
FHD0026
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the Falkland
Vessel name
Falkland
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
The white and gilded female head and left shoulder only, with indications of classical dress, broken off from what was probably a full-length figurehead.
Maker
Unknown
Date made
Unknown
Place made
Unknown
Size
H55.9 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
The figurehead comes from a four-masted iron barque which, quite literally, struck the Bishop Rock lighthouse early one summer evening in 1901. She was 135 days out from Tacoma, Washington State, with wheat, when she carried broadside onto the Rock in a south-westerly gale, her mainyard striking the lighthouse tower. She drifted for half-a-mile before she went over on her beam ends. Her port-side boat was launched and 25 crew with the master’s wife and child got away safely. The master, mate, steward and three seamen where drowned as the ‘Falkland’ suddenly lost buoyancy after her charthouse roof was blown off by the pressure of air inside her. They had unsuccessfully been attempting to launch the starboard boat which at first jammed and then fell out of its stowage. The 27 survivors and their boat were then taken in by the St Agnes lifeboat, ‘James and Caroline’.

‘Falkland’ details at time of wreck. Four-masted iron barque of 2,867 tons, registered in Liverpool. Built by W. H. Potter & Sons, Liverpool, 1889. Dimensions (in feet and tenths): 317.8 x 45.3 x 24.9. Owner: ‘Ship Falkland’ Co. Ltd (Macvicar, Marshall & Co). Registered voyage: Tacoma to Falmouth. Cargo: wheat. Master at loss: G. S. Gracie. Wrecked: 22 June 1901.
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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