Figurehead of the Indipendenza

Basic Information

FigID
F0072
InstID
FHD0003
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the Indipendenza
Vessel name
Indipendenza
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Merchant
Copyright owner
© National Maritime Museum
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Maritime Museum
Current location
Tresco
Location date
08/10/1979

Physical Information

Description
Figurehead in the form of a small polychrome bust of a young woman, possibly a personal portrait. The figure's hair is braided in side ringlets and the collar of the dress has a distinctive floral incised pattern.
Maker
Unknown
Date made
Unknown
Place made
Unknown
Size
H205 x W142.5 x D122.4 cms
Materials
Wood: Elm
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
'Indipendenza' details at the time of her wreck.
Wooden barque of 837 tons, registered at Recco. Built by Peragallo, Sestri Ponente, 1875. Owner: G. Marano, of Recco. Registered voyage: Valparaiso to Rotterdam. Cargo: general cargo. Master at loss: Fillipo Caffarena. Wrecked: 20 September 1881.
On her passage from Valparaiso with guano, hooves and horn, a crew of 14 and a pilot on board, 'Indipendenza' encountered dense fog and was thought to be 15 miles south-west of the islands. This estimate proved wrong when she struck four times on the Crims, north of the Bishop Rock. She was pulled off, only to drift back and remained lodged for about five minutes while the water rose to about six feet in her hold.
She floated off and her master tried to bring her into St. Mary's; she drifted and was finally wrecked on the Barrel of Butter, the western point of that island. Almost all her cargo was lost and St. Mary's Pool was reported to be 'thick with horns'.
Bibliography
''Valhalla' The Tresco Ships' Figurehead Collection' (NMM, 1984).
One of the ship's name-boards is also in the collection (FHD0016).

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

Connect with us

Our social media space