Stern carving from Boreas
© National Maritime Museum
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Six-piece polychrome and gilded stern decoration, traditionally said to be from the 'Boreas', a French East Indiaman wrecked on Annet, Isles of Scilly, date unknown, in the 17th century. The carving is traditionally said to be the work of French marine carver, Pierre Puget, who died in 1695 but this is probably wishful thinking since it is not up to Puget's known quality and there is no objective evidence for it. The pieces have been arranged on a flat backboard, not as they would have been on the ship, where the two winged zephyr figures on either side were probably quarter decorations and the whole spaced further apart. The long upper piece bearing a design of fire and lightning bolts is probably a stern board. Locally the whole ensemble has long been known as 'the Puffers', for obvious reasons.
H133.3 x W274.3 cms
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.
Stern carvings traditionally said to be from the 'Boreas', a French East Indiaman wrecked on Annet, Isles of Scilly, date unknown, in the 17th century.
‘Valhalla’ The Tresco Ships’ Figurehead Collection (NMM, 1984)
National Maritime Museum
Royal Museums Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Ownership can be cited online
Accessible to public
Data verified by owner