Full-length female figure, wearing a broad-brimmed hat trimmed with feathers, a long skirt and a jacket with a fitted waist, edged with large buttons. The sleeves are shown cut with fullness at the elbows. She wears gloves and holds a rose in her left hand.
The bust of a bearded, classical warrior in scaled armour and plumed helmet.
A three-quarter-length figure of a knight in 16th century armour and helmet. The figure has a large moustache and long hair. It terminates in drapery below the waist.
Figurehead from an 80-gun 3rd rate, formerly the French 'Franklin'. A bust-length Figurehead representing a classical warrior in a plumed helmet, from HMS 'Canopus'. Inscription reads: 'Canopus'.
The figurehead is of the bust of Vice Admiral John Benbow, the commander-in-chief of the West Indies during the War of Spanish Succession, who died of wounds sustained in a battle with a French squadron in 1702. He wears a brown curly wig and white cravat as shown in contemporary portraits. The figure wears armour and the lower part is draped in red cloth.
A three-quarter-length female bust in classical dress with grapes and vine leaves in her hair. It has a coronet decorated with stars in the tailboard. Adriadne was the daughter of King Minos of Crete and after her death her wedding garland was placed in the sky as a constellation.
This figurehead is a three-quarter-length bust of Britannia, the female personification of Britain. The figure wears scaled armour and a skirt with a plumed helmet. On her upper arms Dickerson has carved lion masks.
Figurehead of HMS 'Royal George' in the form of a bust of George IV in Roman armour, crowned with a laurel wreath. Probably all that remains of a very large, full sized figurehead.
Bust-length polychrome-painted figurehead of 'HMS 'Daring', representing a naval seaman with his arms crossed, in contemporary dress and wearing a straw hat. The name 'Daring' is inscribed on the cap ribbon and across his chest under the folded arms. There is an anchor badge, possibly for a leading seaman, on his left arm. Although he appears to be wearing uniform, it can only have been a customary one since their was no official Royal Naval uniform for ratings until 1857.
Half-length polychrome female bust figurehead of HMS 'Daphne', wearing green garment with red and brown sash at waist. A large gold star adorns the centre of her waist.
A yellow-ochre painted female head which formed the figurehead of HMS 'Bristol'. The original figurehead was a three quarter length bust of which the head and neck has survived.
A full-length figure of a child, wearing a short skirt over pantaloons and a short jacket with three-quarter length sleeves over a tight bodice. The figure has short hair tucked behind its ears.
This figurehead was once full length so it was presumably made before the Navy Board cut costs and busts became the most usual type. All that is left now is a bearded head wearing a helmet wreathed with laurels. The contemporary model of the ship at the Science Museum, London, shows a full-length figure straddling the bow, holding a buckler and what is probably a sword and is dressed in a suit of roman armour.
Semi-nude bust, half-length with shaggy hair and beard.
Female bust, reputedly a portrait of a woman of the Hay family.
A large wooden figurehead, depicting a man with a beard and moustache, naked to the waist, with a painted grey, draped cloth below. At the bottom, around waist level, is an ornate scrolled finial. The arms are missing as is the nose.
Three-quarter-length female figure wearing a dress with full blue skirt, red and blue bodice, short puffed sleeves and a round white collar. She wears a red beaded necklace. She has long fair hair and a white turban-style head-dress. The figure is clutching a blue posy to her chest.
Three-quarter-length, female figure wearing dress with white bodice with dropped waistline, blue skirt, blue collar and matching scalloped cuffs. She has yellow hair, coiled up to frame her face.
A full-length, male figure clad in contemporary dress, possibly a portrait of the owner. Show stepping forward, he wears trousers, a cravat and a blue double-breasted tail coat. His right hand is in the breast of his coat, the left is held clenched by his side.
A full-length female figure in contemporary dress. She wears a blue dress with a bustle over a red petticoat. The sleeves are gathered at the elbow and then tight to the wrist. The front is decorated with lace ruffles and it has a lace collar and cuff. The figure has long hair with locks falling in front of the shoulders. She holds a bunch of red roses in her right hand.
Half-length portrait bust depicting William IV as Duke of Clarence. The figure is shown in naval uniform.
A portrait of Francis Rawden-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings (1754-26) Governor General of India. A bust in army uniform.
Half-length female bust, wearing a tight bodice dress with v-neck and a full skirt. A cross on a string of large beads adorns her neck. She wears a diadem on her head.
A half-length bust of a clean-shaven, youthful male figure in red military uniform. He wears a sword belt, the sash and star of the Order of the Garter and crowns denoting his rank on his collar.
A half-length male bust depicting an Indian with a moustache, wearing a muslin shirt and a turban.
Three-quarter-length figure holding a lyre in her left hand. Terpsichore was the Muse of Lyric Poetry or Dance. She wears a low cut dress with straps. Her hair is tied back and a laurel wreath adorns her head.
Three-quarter-length female figurehead, with long hair. She wears classical garments with a wreath in her hair and holds a posy of flowers in her right hand. Her left arm is placed across her waist.
Female three-quarter length bust.
Three-quarter length female bust wearing a dress with full skirt and belted waist. She wears a diadem and has swept back, long hair.
Draped male bust of an American Indian wearing a feathered crown.
Half-length male bust in Elizabethan costume, doublet buttoned at the front, with a cloak over one shoulder. The figure is bearded. The carving terminates in scrolls and foliage.
Half-length male bust of a gentleman wearing early 19th century dress. He has long side whiskers, a cravat and a double-breasted coat.
Three-quarter-length female bust in classical dress. Her hair is up and she wears a crown and a veil. There is a jewelled belt round her waist and a long double rope of pearls around her neck.
A half-length, male, semi-nude youth, clean shaven, with short hair, there are classical drapes around the arms and base of figure.
Female half-length bust, wearing a helmet and scaled armour. Her long hair falls over her shoulders. The shoulders and the base of the figure are draped and there are two rows of beads running around the body below the breasts.
Female three-quarter-length bust.
Crowned male bust, half-length, representing an Indian wearing five ropes of pearls. The figure wears a high-necked robe with bands round each arm. The lower part of the figure is draped and terminates in a scroll.
Male portrait bust with blue classical drapes.
Crowned male bust.
Part of a male bust, the head and neck only surviving.
Female three-quarter-length bust. She wears a dress with a tight bodice and full skirt. The low neck is draped with a white scarf or fichu. The lower part of the figure is draped in a red cloak. She has a wreath of flowers on her head.
A cartouche depicting the Royal Arms and crown decorated with carved scrolls and foliage.
A full-length figure representing Britannia, striding forward, her dress and cloak billowing in the wind. She wears a helmet and scale armour; in her right hand she holds a trident and in her left a branch.
A half-length figure representing a young Queen Victoria crowned and holding an orb and sceptre. She wears bracelets and the collar of the Order of the Garter. Roses, a shamrock and a thistle are carved around the base.
Bust of the Duke of Wellington, half-length in military uniform and aiguillettes and wearing the Star and Sash of the Order of the Garter. He has a sash around the waist and a laurel wreath adorns his head.
Half-length male figure with long hair and side whiskers wearing a broad-brimmed plumed hat and a cloak. A handkerchief is tied round the collar of his open-necked shirt and he wears a frogged jacket and waist sash. The figure is based on the brigand Rinaldo Rinaldini, a character in a novel by Goethe’s brother in law, Christian August Vulpius.
Turbaned, bearded male bust.
Three-quarter-length female bust, wearing a tight bodice, a full skirt and a diadem and swept back hair. The edges of the skirt are carved with oak branches. In the centre of the skirt is an oak wreath in which is a star with a crescent moon and sun in the centre.
Male three-quarter length figure depicting a bearded bare chested river god. A laurel wreath adorns his head.
A female standing figure wearing a white dress and blue cloak. Her arms are folded behind her back. Sibyl was a mythical woman, said to express her oracles in riddles, and it was from a painting of Lady Hamilton dressed as Sibyl that the figurehead is claimed to have been based.
A standing figure of William IV crowned and wearing ceremonial robes of the Order of the Garter with detailed 'collars'of the orders of chivalry; the uppermost is the Scottish Order of the Thistle, in the centre is the Irish Order of St Patrick and the lowest of the three the English Order of the Garter(below which can be seen hanging the 'George' in the form of St George slaying the dragon.)
Bust of a warrior in scaled armour and a plumed helmet.
A full-length figure of a centaur, right hand on the body, left hand clasped and resting on its forehead. The two back horse legs are carved in relief, the other four limbs in the round.
A female, three-quarter-length wears an eastern crown and a veil. There are three strands of pearls round her neck. She has a tight bodice with a gold zigzag patterned embroidery round the neck and down the front, with a white chemise underneath. The blue bodice comes to a point at the front lower edge partially covering a red skirt.
The King of Thebus- a bearded male bust crowned, wearing a plate-mail tunic and draped in a red cloak.
Female bust wearing eastern crown. Her hair is twisted with strings of beads and she wears in high-necked bodice with drapery below. The sleeves are decorated with fringes, cords and drapes. The figurehead is supported by scrolls decorated with carved foliage.
Three-quarter length female bust, nude above the waist, draped below and around the arms. Her long hair falls across her shoulders and she wears a crown of sea shells. A carved flounce is draped around her hips and the figurehead has the lower edges of the skirt carved with branches and leaves. In the centre of the skirt, a star is carved within an oak wreath. The star bears a crescent moon and smaller star in the centre.
A curly light haired female bust, wearing scaled armour and draped in a cloak.
Half-length bust male figure in mid-nineteenth century uniform, with a bow tie and stand up shirt collar. He has dark thick wavy hair with short sideburns.
Three-quarter-length female figure in a dress with full skirt and tight bodice. It has short sleeves. She holds a red rose in her right hand and has a gold trimmed headband.
This half length figurehead of Nelson shows him in the uniform of a rear admiral, his rank at the time of the Battle of the Nile-and, while the upper half is a traditional bust, the lower half has a modern look to it with the naval crown and Nelson's signal at Trafalgar. He has no hat and his left hand is holding a telescope. Below the figure is placed a naval crown and ‘ENGLAND EXPECTS …’ on a ribbon.
Half-length bust depicting a queen. She wears a royal crown, three ropes of pearls around the neck and a high-waisted dress with a chemise underneath. Part of a fur lined robe can be seen at the shoulders.
Three-quarter-length female figurehead in classical dress with long hair. She has a shell on her headdress, and holds a garland of leaves. Another garland of leaves surrounds her neck.
Half-length male bust representing the Duke of Marlborough wearing a long wig, cravat, armour and the collar of the Order of the Garter. The figure terminates in scrolls and drapes.
Female three-quarter-length bust. In a dress with a v-neck, full skirts and draped bodice. A cord is knotted round the waist, the shoulders are clasped with brooches and the upper arms are surrounded by bands of beads. Her hair is tied back.
A lion holding an oval shield of the Royal Arms.
A portrait male bust in uniform and sash, scaled armour at the shoulders, half-length. Rather naïve in style.
Half-length male figure representing the admiral in full-dress uniform wearing a ribbon and the star of the Order of the Garter. The right arm is placed across the waist, the hand now missing. The left hand is shown grasping the hilt of a sword.
Male bust with thick black wavy hair and thick sideburns. He is wearing an open-necked jacket with large buttons. The shirt collar is worn outside the jacket.
Crowned male demi-head. It originally depicted a half-length figure of Jupiter. After both arms had been replaced, the figurehead acquired a trident and was converted to a figure of Neptune.
Male, three-quarter-length figure, in uniform and plumed hat. He is shown with a beard and moustache. Both arms are fully carved, the left one pointing forward.
Male bust, bearded, classical drapes across one shoulder.
Female three-quarter-length bust. She is dressed in a tight bodice and full skirt, with a high frilled collar. She has flowers in her hair and her arms are draped.
A full-length female figure dressed in an 18th century petticoat and gown, striding forward and holding a torch in her right hand. A lock of hair over her right shoulder, right breast bared and the head turned to the left.
A head of a large sea animal.
Semi-nude male half-length figure with shaggy hair and beard, a cloak draped across the left shoulder. A ribbon or baldric is placed across the right shoulder. It terminates in drapes and carved foliage. An eagle is carved behind the scrolls at the base.
Short female bust with flowers in her hair. She has a frilled collar and is draped in a red cloak with a lion’s head clasp.
A bust of Britannia, in plumed helmet and scaled armour. Her shoulders are draped.
Three-quarter-length, female figure. She wears an off-the-shoulder, short sleeved dress with bows at the top of the sleeves. The bodice is tight and pointed at the lower, front edge, the skirt is full. The figure has short, swept-back hair, with roses placed in the back. She holds a rose in her right hand which is placed across the body.
Figurehead carved and painted with the words 'Soli Deo' which translates 'For God Alone'.
This figurehead is of a three-quarter-length female figure. The figure holds a rose in her right hand.
A male bust of a warrior dressed in classical armour and wearing a plumed helmet. He has dark hair and a thick moustache.
The figurehead is that of Eurydice, wife of the musician Orpheus. Tragically, Eurydice was bitten by a snake and died. Her distraught husband followed her to the underworld where Hades, its ruler, told Orpheus his wife could return to him—on one condition. He must not look back until he reached the mortal world. Orpheus was just about to reach the open air when he could not resist the urge to look back at his wife, breaking his promise to Hades and loosing Eurydice forever. The figurehead’s pose is that of Eurydice reaching out to her husband in longing and despair. The figure is loosely draped in a blue and red tunic revealing her breasts. The tunic is secured with a brooch. In the original design by Hellyer an imp was carved on the trailboard, almost pulling her to the Underworld. Below the imp a snake is carved slithering down the bow. The trailboard carvings did not survive.
This bust figurehead is the representation of sailor. The bearded male figure wears a sennit hat and blue sailor’s uniform, with medals on the left breast and gold button details.
This figurehead is a portrayal of the Greek hero, Bellerophon, a warrior. He fought the Chimera and also caught the winged horse Pegasus using Minerva’s magic, as it is told in Greek myth. Before it was damaged the figurehead represented Bellerophon as a nude figure draped in a red cloak riding Pegasus, his right arm raised, holding a javelin. The horse’s wings were spread. All that remains is the helmeted head. The figurehead would have been painted white during its time in service. In 1814 the Navy Board approved more use of gilding and colours for figurehead decoration.
The figurehead is of Apollo, son of Jupiter. He represented the mythological embodiment of the sun and is typically represented as an archer. A semi-nude bust draped in blue cloth with long hair crowned by a laurel wreath.
This figurehead represents the mythological character, Actaeon. Actaeon was a hunter who stumbled upon Diana, goddess of the hunt, bathing with her nymphs. The angry Diana turned Actaeon into a stag and he was hunted down and killed by his own hounds. The figurehead itself is a semi-nude bust with long black curly hair and draped in a red tunic. Leaves decorate the stem of the carving.
This female bust wears a red tunic with blue sash and belt. The figures blonde hair is also covered with a blue hat.
Wooden figurehead from HMS 'Serpent' (1887). The figurehead depicts an Indian snake charmer and is finished with polychrome oil paint: its head, hand and most of one side are missing is the National maritime Museum part(left half). However, the right half of the figurehead was sighted in Spain by David Pulvertaft in 2003. It indicates the complete figure was a bearded man in a cap with a white robe and red sash.
The female figure in classical dress, with its right arm raised, is a depiction of Semiramis, the semi-mythical queen of Assyria who is said to have built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Gold-painted figurehead of the 330-ton royal yacht 'Royal George' ,1817, in the form of a classical-style bust of George III wearing a laurel wreath, with two supplicating African supporters. The supporters clearly relate to the 'Am I not a man and a brother?' emblem of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, the implication being that the figurehead commemorates the magnanimity of George III under whom the trade was formally abolished in 1807, exactly ten years before the yacht was built at Deptford Dockyard.
Figurehead of HMS 'Penelope' in the form of a kneeling female figure with shoulder length hair. Both arms are crossed over her body and resting on her left knee. The figure is wearing a cloak. The pose of the figure presumably refers to the reserved discretion of Penelope, the faithful wife of Odysseus, who waited patiently for his return from Troy though besieged by suitors.
Female figure with head of snakes, it is a representation of Megaera - one of the Furies of Greek mythology.
Black-and-white painted and gilded bust-length figurehead of HMS 'Implacable', ex- 'Duguay-Trouin', representing a Gorgon from Greek Mythology, with snakes for hair.
Polychrome painted bust-length figurehead of HMS 'Horatio'. It represents Admiral Lord Nelson (1758-1805), in uniform, wearing a laurel wreath. Nelson lost effective sight in his right eye in 1794, though not the eye itself, at the siege of Calvi, Corsica. With rather naive charm, the figurehead represents this by showing the right eye shut. Laminate wood construction with a separate head.
Half-length, polychrome-painted, pine figurehead of a lion, from HMS 'Hogue'. The lion holds a shield on which is painted the British royal coat of arms. It is one of the last representatives of a lion tradition which dates back to Elizabethan times.
Figurehead from HMS 'Frederick William', representing HRH Prince Frederick William III of Prussia (1770-1840). Shows a dark haired man with long sideburns and thick moustache, in naval uniform with a sash across his chest.
This figurehead is a three quarter length figure portrayal of Admiral Lord Duncan (1731-1804). Duncan was known for his involvement in the Battle of Camperdown in 1797 and the French Revolutionary War, 1793-1802. The Hellyer design shows Duncan in a naval uniform with sash. The trailboards are decorated with a flag, a cannon, cannonballs and a branch of an oak tree. These trophies symbolize the Admiral’s victories.
Female bust in a robe with a scalloped neck and draped sleeves. She has plaited hair twined with leaves.
This figurehead depicts Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson (1758-1805). The bust wears a full-dress uniform embellished with the stars of the Order of the Crescent,(Turkey) the Order of St Ferdinand(Naples & Sicily) and the Order of Bath with a Naval Gold Medal around the neck. The figure also wears a gold-laced hat.
The present carving which is a replacement is an oval shield bearing the Hanovarian Royal Arms with cherubs as supporters. This is thought to be the design in use at Trafalgar.
Carved as a half-length nude female figure with bunches of grapes held in both hands, her left breast is covered by sash over her shoulder. Her hair is decorated with vine leaves and small bunches of grapes suggesting the victualling stores that would have been included in the items that she provided to the fleet.
An unusually small figurehead a quarter the usual size. The crowned figure wears a yellow tunic with one arm outstretched as if in supplication and the other holding a trident. She possibly represents Britannia although the vessel was named after the consort of William IV. At the base of the carving along the ship’s bow there are two shields with the British flag.
This figure is a bust portraying the character of Rolla from the 1799 play by August von Kotzebue ‘Pizarro; the Spaniards in Peru; or the Death of Rolla’— Rolla is the heroic Peruvian general. He was played by Kemble, who is shown in this role, dressed in a semi-classical style, in contemporary prints including one by Robert Dighton. The bust is draped in a red tunic with a badge at the centre (probably originally intended to represent a sunburst). The base of the carving is decorated with foliage.
Three-quarter-length female bust, her hair tied back. She wears a headdress, a tightly fitted mid-Victorian bodice with a pinked collar and a full skirt. The figure terminates in scrolls with a petrel carved in relief on the sides.
This male figurehead is a portrayal of Orestes, son of Agamemnon and king of Mycenae and Argos. He avenged his father’s death by killing his mother. The clean shaven male bust wears a helmet with armour protecting his upper arms over which is draped a classical tunic.
The figurehead is a bust representing the goddess Minerva, the daughter of Jupiter and Roman goddess, patron of war and the arts. The figure is helmeted and wears scaled armour. The base of the bust is draped in carved cloth.
This male bust figurehead wears classical armour over a shirt and a plumed helmet. He has a moustache. In the original sketch by Hellyer & son, the figurehead depicted an Indian man wearing a striped shirt and turban.
The figurehead is presumed to have been a bust with intricate tropical fruit carving on the trailboards. The African male nude figure was designed by Edward Hellyer & Son in 1812 and forwarded to be made for the sum of £6. All that survives is the head after an incident with a bonfire in Brazil in the 1860s.
The existing figurehead is a draped male bust apparently wearing armour. He wears a long curly wig and wreath of laurel around his head. Pulvertaft suggests this is George III but it appears to represent an early 18th century personage such as the Duke of Marlborough or George I. It has been suggested that this figurehead may have been replaced during Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901).
A Tudor rose.
This small female figure wears a tight bodice in blue and cream with a blue and gold hat. At the opening of her blouse a red rose is carved. The bust figure is leaning forward with her skirt falling over the base of the carving, a navy blue and gold scroll. In the Fire-Engine House of Devonport Dockyard recording she is described as ‘Bust of a young woman inclining forward, very pretty face. Brown Bodice with red rose at breast opening’. This description shows that she was repainted at some point.
Full-length bearded figure with sword and buckler clad in roman armour.
This figure is a representation of Neptune, the god of water and sea from Roman mythology. The male bust has long black hair and a beard. He wears an eastern crown decorated with pearls. The figure is nude, draped at the midriff with a blue cloth. The base of the carving is plain with scroll detailing.
A full-length male figure in traditional Scottish dress of red, white and green. The kilted soldier is supposedly a representation of the city of Glasgow. He stands, about to draw his sword with his right arm as if in battle.
HMS 'Espiegle’s' name takes its origins from the french, L’Espiègle meaning ‘frolicsome’. The female, three-quarter-length figure wears a green full length dress with blue and gold details. On her wrists are carved gold, jewel encrusted bangles. She also wears a domino mask, the type worn for masquerades.
This male turbaned bust is presumably a representation of Caradoc, a knight of the round table. However, others have suggested it could also be a representation of the leader of the Welsh during the Roman invasion of AD 43. Due to the style of the carving and the trailboard carvings having not survived it is difficult to tell. The young male bust wears a simple belted red tunic with a gold trimmed neckline. A white turban covers the figures brown hair. The image shown here is from circa 1983 and shows the figurehead with dark skin and wearing a white tunic and turban. Perhaps it's association with seamen from India that resulted in him being painted with a black face, for this was his colour when he returned to Portsmouth in 1983.
This figurehead is a representation of Cleopatra. The half length figure is draped in a blue tunic, matching her blue hair. The tunic is draped over her right shoulder leaving her left shoulder and breast uncovered.
This is a representation of a classical warrior in scaled armour and helmet. On the breast plate there is a carved lion’s head in gold. The armour is belted at the waist of the bust in gold and red. The fluted sleeves are also trimmed with gold. Underneath the armour the warrior wears a ruffled collar shirt. The helmet is black with gold detail. What is unusual about this male bearded bust is that it was designed to stand bolt upright on the ship’s bow. This is uncommon in figurehead design and unique for the NMRN collection, where the carving now resides.
This moustached Indian male figurehead wears a red beaded and jewelled turban on his head. His white tunic is believed to have been striped but the paint has worn off. Over his tunic he wears a chain of office. The bust is draped in a blue carved fabric.
This unusual figurehead is a depiction of a smiling, golden sun.
This figurehead replaced one of the Duke of Wellington on the ship formerly known as HMS 'Waterloo'. Unlike the 1786 figurehead of 'Bellerophon', this bust is much simpler. It is a portrayal of the Greek hero, 'Bellerophon', a warrior. He fought the Chimera and also caught the winged horse Pegasus, using Minerva’s magic. The male figure wears a black and gold plumed helmet and gold and black armour.
This compact figurehead, described in the Admiralty catalogue of 1911 as the ‘Figure of a Rajah (bust)’ is an Indian male figure. A red turban adorns his head with the bust draped in a white tunic. This carving is very compact and does not incorporate the folds of simulated cloth that usually wrap the base of the torso. The turban was once white but the restorer changed this detail to red at some point. His expressive face is comically moustached and he wears gold drop earrings.
This small bust female figurehead is a representation of a fairy. The three-quarter-length figure wears a white and blue/green dress and was presumably placed at the bowsprit of the yacht. The figure is crowned with long brown hair and her dress drapes down over the base of the carving.
This delicate figurehead is the bust of a blonde female, presumably the representation of an elf. She wears a white and dark green dress, with blue detail on the chest. She has long wavy blonde hair and is wearing a light brown hat. The figurehead is looking upwards.
This is a carving of a black eagle perched upon a scroll of foliage. The eagles wings are outspread as it leans forward revealing a curved gold cross on the underside of the left wing. Each feather is meticulously carved. On the chest of the bird there is a gold and red Prussian crown, which is derived from the Prussian royal coat of arms. The figurehead is painted black with gold feet.
A large full-length female figurehead. She wears a white skirt with light blue and gold detail on hem. She also wears a dark blue and white bodice with gold edging, matching waistband, fur-trimmed purple cloak, tall white turban with gold jewellery at front, and white pearl necklace and golden bracelets.
She has dark skin and long black hair. Her left arm is across her breast and the right arm held forward holding a flower.
Figurehead depicting the head of a polar bear from the Arctic exploration vessel HMS 'Resolute'.
Unidentified figurehead depicting a male figure wearing a uniform with epaulettes. The figurehead is decorated with polychrome paint.
Figurehead of the royal yacht 'Royal Charlotte', 1824. This superb late-Georgian example retrospectively represents the young Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), wife of George III) at just over half length, crowned, with an orb held before her in her left hand and a sceptre (detachable and restored) in her right, trailing slightly behind the figure. To either side she is supported behind by attendant cherubs with, on her right side, the Hanoverian royal arms, and on her left the Union flag, both within shields surrounded by foliate carving, and with flowers on the centre-line where the figure slots over the supporting stemhead.
Figurehead representing Admiral Lord Nelson (1758-1805) in naval uniform, wearing decoration, from an otherwise unidentified ship.
It represents a gannet with its wings folded, simply but realistically painted, and standing on a scroll head.
A male bust figurehead with dark wavy hair and sideburns. He is wearing a dark green tunic.
A half length figurehead which depicts a dark haired bearded river god wearing a crown. He is bare chested and has red cloth draped around his waist. The figurehead has been painted with polychrome oil paint and weighs 122 kilograms.
Polychrome figurehead of 19th-century collier brig, in the form of a half-length male figure in contemporary civilian dress of a red coat and black cravat/ bow-tie, with a high shirt collar. He is carved with a directness which gives him charm and vitality. As with some of the female figures of small ships there is a resemblance to Staffordshire Pottery. The ship from which this comes is not known but the portrait figure - of a long-nosed man with short hair and long sideburns - is probably that of its owner or someone in a related family.
A male figure in uniform, with sash and order on the right breast, wearing a victor's laurel wreath. It sits on a fiddle-headed scroll bearing the Spencer-Churchill arms in the trailboards, as granted to the family in 1733. This figure has long been associated with the 1st Duke of Marlborough, but has not been positively identified.
It represents Atalanta, the Arcadian huntress of Greek mythology in a classical-style green dress with red and gold band under the bustline. The left breast is shown bare and the arms are missing.
This female bust figurehead is a representation of Calypso, the sea nymph who lived on Ogygia, the island where Odysseus was shipwrecked when returning from Troy as described in in The Odyssey. Calypso forced Odysseus to remain on the island for seven years before setting him free. From the design by Hellyer & Son (1843) and an 1938 photograph we can see that the original figurehead was nude to the waist. However, the existing figurehead today is draped with a blue tunic covering her left breast and her long brown hair almost concealing the other. It is not recorded whether this was added to cover up damage to the carving or as a display of modesty in the training establishment for boy seamen. Bulrushes are carved on the lower part of the figure, alongside other floral and foliage carving. The carving was described by ‘The Mariners Mirror’ in 1913 as:
“A well-developed female bust to the waist, a smirking expression on a well satisfied, rather pretty face. Waving hair in Grecian style; a long curl descending on the breast on either side. A black bead necklace, apparently oak-galls, graduated on a loose wire, with small black Latin cross as a pendant. Loose brass ear-rings; below the waist a small lyre.”
Figurehead and trailboard carving. Calliope was one of the nine Greek mythological daughters of Zeus and muse of epic poetry. The half-length figure wears a white dress with gold belt detail below the bust. She holds a book in her left hand and stylus in her right. The figure also wears a gold diadem.
This is a full length female figurehead on a black pedestal with yellow scrollwork. She is wearing a green dress with white trim, collar and cuffs. There is red detail on the front of the dress. Her left arm is at her side, and the right arm is across the breast. She has light brown hair which is tied back into a bun at the back of her head. She is looking up and slightly left, and has blue eyes.
This is a small half-length female figure wearing a light blue dress with white frilly collar and cuffs.
She has a thin gold waistband on her dress and a heavy gold necklace. Her blonde hair is pulled back into a bun at the top of her head. She is looking forward and has blue eyes.
It is a full-length male figure without feet but with the right leg shown as if stepping forward. He wears white trousers and shirt, a black tailcoat, and a yellow waistcoat, also a black bowtie. His left hand is in the pocket of the trousers and there is a flattened top hat under his left arm. His right hand is tucked inside the front of the coat but may be missing as a vague outline of fingers can be seen on the jacket. He has thick black hair,beard and black eyes.
Replica of the figurehead of a merchantman in the form of a half-length male figure in uniform.
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.
Figurehead of HMS 'Seringapatam'. The seated turbanned figure is, perhaps erroneously, presumed to represent Tipu Sultan, ruler of Mysore, riding on a roc - a mythical bird of great strength. The upper part of the body is unclothed, more like an elephant mahout, with the right arm raised to support a sun umbrella made of metal. The umbrella, normally born by attendants, is both a practical accoutrement and a symbol of the status of the person sheltered. Tipu was the son and successor of Haidar Ali, Sultan of Mysore, both having a long and bloody antagonism to the extension of British rule in India. Tipu's capital of Seringapatam was finally stormed in 1799 by troops under Sir David Baird, who had also fought his father, when his body was discovered shot through the head under a pile of his supporters'. One of the famous items in the Victoria and Albert Museum is the automaton known as 'Tipoo's tiger' - a large clockwork-driven carved toy comprising a wooden tiger savaging a British soldier, which also originally emitted mechanical growls and screams: this was part of the booty taken from Tipu's palace. This piece is also Indian work.
Figurehead of HMS 'Himalaya' , representing an Indian warrior in a turban drawing a sword. Repainted 1959/60.
The half-length bust, armless figurehead of HMS 'Harlequin'. It represents the masked and capped figure of a harlequin, in traditional multi-coloured dress and with a blue cloak resting on a scroll head. Harlequin, Arlecchino, is a traditional Italian 'commedia dell'arte' figure, best known in Britain as a character in traditional pantomime of the late 18th and early 19th century.
Polychrome-painted (restored) figurehead of HMS 'Bulldog'. It represents a full-length leaping bulldog with a shield on the underside bearing the Union flag. It is depicted more as a symbol of Great Britain that as a domestic pet. The words 'CAVE CANEM' meaning 'beware of the dog' are inscribed on the dog's broad collar. Designed by Hellyer & Son of Portsmouth with an estimate of £9.
A female head which is mounted on a black circular plaque. She is wearing a purple hat with a large white curled feather. She has black hair which is tied back and has blue eyes. She wears large gold earrings.
A male head which is mounted on a black circular plaque, possibly representing Robert Burns. He has black and grey wavy hair with long sideburn and grey eyes.
A half-length, armless male figurehead. There is brown and gold scrollwork on pedestal. He is wearing a red toga, draped over right shoulder, and red and gold crown. He has curly brown hair and beard.
A female head which is unmounted. She has black wavy hair pulled back with red roses and green leaves on both sides of the head. She wears a gold tiara on top of the head which is red at the centre, and she wears one ringlet which hangs down the right side of her neck. She has brown eyes and is looking forward.
A male head which is unmounted. He has black curly hair, very long sideburns and blue eyes. He wears a high white neckcloth tied in a bow at front. The high blue collar of of his coat shows at the back. He is looking to the right.
A female head which is unmounted. She has blond hair tied up. She is wearing a large wreath of pink and red flowers around the head. She has light blue eyes shadowed in blue.
This is a wooden carving of a small crouching dog which has long hair and a curled tail. It was mostly painted in white, but there are brown/black patches on the head, back and a section on the left side. The mount and pedestal are painted in black.
This is a female bust wearing a light blue bodice, white ruffled collar, and a bow at the neck. There are red buttons and detail on the collar and black ribbon around the neck and collar. She has yellow hair which is plaited and coiled around the head and down her back. The hair is tied with a dark green ribbon. She has blue eyes and is looking forward.
A large female half-figure on a brown pedestal with yellow scrollwork. She is wearing a light blue bodice with dark blue trim, a pointed collar and red drapery. There is red decoration at the waist. Her right arm is across the breast, and the left arm is at her side. She has light brown hair and blue eyes. She is looking up and slightly right.
This is a half-length female figure on a gold pedestal. She is wearing a black bodice with gold detail and white trim at waist and a blue skirt. She has blue eyes and brown hair which is loosely tied back in a bun at the back of the head, with a single tress hanging down on either side of the head. There is a gold leaf in the hair on the right side of the head. She has no arms. She is looking up and right.
A small half-length female figure on a black pedestal with green scrollwork. It has no arms. The figure is wearing a light blue dress which has a silver/red brooch at the centre of the chest and a red drapery. There is a necklace of oval and diamond shapes and the colours are gold, blue, and silver/red. She has blonde hair, some is worn loose at the sides of the head and some gathered in a bun at back. She is looking forward and has blue eyes.
This is a small half-length female figure on a brown pedestal with gold scrollwork. She is wearing a green/yellow dress and a yellow shawl with gold trim. She has brown hair with a bun at the back of the head. There are yellow flowers and green leaves on both sides of the head. She has light green eyes and is looking forward.
A half-length female figurehead. She has blonde hair, a single tress of hair down on her left shoulder. She is wearing a flimsy blue/grey dress with single strap over the right shoulder, and both breasts are exposed. She has blue eyes and is looking left.
This is a flat carving of tanned male figure looking left and seated on a stool with legs crossed. He is wearing a white gown with a red sash (around the waist and across the right shoulder) and sandals. He has long black hair tied at the back of his head and a beard. He is wearing a small red hat. The figure has no arms.
This is a gold and green fiddlehead. There are two large oval discs on both sides painted with St. George’s cross - white background and red cross.
This is a yellow, white and light blue billethead. It has ornate decoration with green leaves and small red flowers at sides. It is mounted on square black wooden stand.
This is a three-quarter-length female figure on a black pedestal with gold scrollwork. She is wearing a light blue dress with gold trim. The sleeves are rolled up to the elbows. Her left arm is at her side, and the right arm is across her breast. She has brown hair with two tresses worn down and a bun at the back of the head. There is a wreath of white/pink/yellow flowers around her head. She is looking up and slightly right. She has blue eyes and pink nails.
This is a small half-length female figure on a black pedestal with gold scrollwork. She is wearing a dark green dress with cream edging, a gold brooch at the centre of the chest. She has dark brown hair and blue eyes which are looking forward, but no arms. There are ringlets at the side of her head and a bun at the back.
A large bust of woman on a black pedestal with green leaf decoration and gold/white scrollwork. She has no arms. She is wearing a light blue dress with a frilly pink/white collar, and light blue drapery. She has black hair tied back in a bun. There are two tiaras on the head, one is gold and the other is red. She has blue eyes and is looking forward.
This is a full length female armless figurehead on a black pedestal. Her right leg is stepping forwards. She is wearing a green dress, yellow pointed collar, gold necklace, yellow waistband and button detail above right knee. She has black hair tied back in a bun, pink and red flowers and leaves in her hair. She is looking forward and has brown eyes.
This is a half-length female figurehead on a black pedestal and gold scrollwork. She is wearing a blue dress, white collar, gold brooch at centre of chest,large black earrings and brown drapery with white trim. She has black hair tied back into a bun. She has brown eyes and is looking slightly right. A piece is missing from her left shoulder.
A small full-length female figurehead shown with the right leg stepping forward on a small black pedestal. She is wearing a brown top which is V-necked and off the shoulders, and a long yellow skirt. Her right arm is across the breast, and the left hand is holding a cornucopia (gold with flowers and fruits inside). She is looking up to the right. She has black hair, tied back with a yellow hair band and she has blue eyes.
A half-length female figurehead on a black pedestal with yellow scrollwork. She is wearing a green dress with dark red/yellow collar, waistband, and dark red drapery. She also wears a yellow undergarment, and there is a gold brooch at the centre of her chest. She has grey hair which curls at the side of the head, blue eyes and is looking forward.
A three-quarter length female figure with no arms. She is wearing a white dress which has a gold waistband and buttons. She wears a gold necklace and a wreath around her head. There is a cream-coloured pedestal which matches the figurehead and gold scrollwork. She has long hair which is worn loose, and is looking right.
This is a full-length female figurehead. She is wearing a green turban and looking slightly to the left. She also wears a yellow garment covering a green skirt to the base of the object. Her left fore arm is raised towards the neck, holding a flower.
This is a large curved fiddlehead. From a small scroll at the top, it widens to the base. It is painted mostly white with yellow curly decoration, green leaves, red flowers and red fleur-de-lis on the front. There are red beads running around the centre of the scroll.
It is a full-length female figure cradling dog in left hand. She wears a pink jacket, white blouse, full green skirt, and white gloves. Her blonde hair is tied up under her hat which has a pink rim, white feathers, and a green bow at the front. She has blue eyes and is looking up and to the right. She also wears long gold earrings and her dog has dark brown coat and a red collar.
A full-length female quarter gallery support. She is wearing a blue scaly leotard with dark green seaweed hanging down her legs and arms and on top of head. Her right arm is held across the breast holding the end of a net slung over her left shoulder. Her left arm is down by her side holding two fish in her hand. She has long dark brown hair worn loose and blue eyes. Her left leg is slightly bent and her feet and legs are bare. She is looking forward.
This is a small half-length female figurehead on a brown pedestal with gold scrollwork. She wears a cream dress, the collar and front section of dress painted red with red trim and waistband. There are gold detail on clothing and yellow drapery. She has a pale skin and brown hair which curls at side of head and a bun at back wearing a gold/red crown. She has brown eyes and is looking up.
A large female bust wearing a dark red dress, ruffled collar, and white undergarment. She has no arms and black curly hair with two gold tiaras and red headscarf/head-band. She is looking slightly right. She has light brown eyes, but the pupils are missing from the eyes, leaving a hollow space, she may have had glass eyes previously.
This is a small full-length female figurehead shown as if stepping forward with her left leg. Her right arm is extended forward and may origally have held something; the left arm is by the side but with the palm facing forward. She stands on a brown pedestal with gold scrollwork. She wears a long brown dress with gold belt and neck detail, under a long dark short-sleeved, green open robe with gold trim, collar and brooches. She has brown/red hair tied back, and wears a gold head-dress and headband. She has green eyes looking forward. She wears black shoes.
This is a three-quarter length male figure. He wears a black suit, yellow waistcoat, white shirt with high collar, and black bow tie. He has gold buttons and a watch-chain. His left hand is in his trouser pocket. The figure has dark brown hair, long sideburns, and brown eyes looking forward.
This figurehead is a bust of warrior with gold/silver helmet and large gold plume. He wears a brown cloak around his shoulders over armour, secured by a brooch on the right shoulder. He has thick black beard and moustache. He is looking down and slightly left. There is gold scrollwork and the figurehead was mounted as if on the bows of a ship.
A small full-length male figurehead with presumably missing feet. He wears a red hunting jacket with black trim, white shirt, white trousers, and black bow tie and black peaked cap. He also wears black/tan boots, and is stepping forward with his left leg. He is looking forward. His right arm is held across the chest holding a fox’s brush, and the left arm by his side holding a whip and cane. A hunting horn on a cord hangs by his left side. He has blue eyes and long grey sideburns.
A large three-quarter-length female figurehead. She wears a green dress with cream detail on the front and sleeves and cream trim. There are gold tassels on the bottom of her jacket which is green and cream and has a gold girdle. She has gold beads around her neck and in her hair, and a cream and gold veil hangs down at the back which is attached to a gold tiara on top of head. Her left arm is by her side, and the right arm is across her breast holding red apple and black grapes. She wears a blue/gold bracelet on left arm. She has light brown hair in two tresses worn down and the rest tied back. She has brown eyes shaded blue and red lips.
A small, full-length male figurehead in gold chain mail and wearing a gold/red crown. The figure wears a red tunic under the mail. He has a brown belt and brown cross gartering on the legs. His right arm is held forward and is detachable. His left arm is at his side with a dagger in the hand. He is looking forward, and his left leg is shown stepping forward. He stands on a small gold pedestal with ornate green detail.
A half-length female figurehead. She wears a red/white dress with a white shawl and gold collar. She has brown hair in a bun at the back and blue eyes looking right and slightly up.
A large full-length female figurehead in a cream dress with gold trim. It has a cream pedestal with gold scroll work. The left leg of the figure is shown as if stepping forward. She wears gold shoes. Her right arm is held across her body, and holds a yellow rose with green leaves. Her left arm is at her side. She has blond curly hair with the curls at the side of the head. She is has blue eyes and is looking to the right.
A half-length male figurehead with a brown pedestal and yellow scrollwork. He wears a black coat, yellow waistcoat, white shirt with yellow buttons (one missing), and a black necktie. He has light brown hair and brown glass eyes.
A half-length male figurehead. It is a representation of King Solomon with a gold crown and purple robe. He wears a dark red cloak around the neck and right shoulder, and a dark red belt with a gold buckle. He has black hair, thick beard and brown eyes..
A half-length male figurehead. He wears a blue military Turkish uniform with gold epaulettes and several medals. He has a red fez, brown beard, brown glass eyes, and is looking right.
This is a large full-length female figurehead with a gold pedestal and scrollwork. She wears a black dress with white collar and apron, a gold necklace, and a black purse tied with gold string to the waistband on her left side. She has blue eyes and light brown hair tied up at the back, and a red flower and green leaves in her hair. Some hair is worn down. Her right arm is across her breast, and she is looking forward.
A three-quarter-length female figurehead. She wears a cream blouse and skirt, and a lilac jacket with a blue collar and trim. Her left arm is missing, and her right hand is on her hip. Her blouse has a frilly collar and detail at the front. She has dark brown hair in a bun at the back with a light brown hairclip. She has has brown eyes looking slightly left.
A full-length figure in American officer's uniform (the uniform is thought to date from the Civil War period i.e. the 1860s.) He wears a long blue coat, waistcoat with gold buttons, a white tie, trousers, and a blue hat, with a gold cap band. He has grey hair and long grey sideburns, but no left arm and a missing right hand. He is looking forward is shown with his left leg stepping forward. The figurehead has a brown pedestal with green leaf decoration by the right leg and gold scrollwork.
A large full-length female figure in classical attire. She is wearing a white tunic and skirt, both with red trim/hem. She has a gold collar, a belt, a long red cloak with gold trim, and gold brooches at the shoulders. She also wears a gold tiara, bracelets, and gold sandals. She has long black hair, partly tied up. Her right arm is across the breast, with the left arm at her side. She is looking slightly right and is placed on a brown pedestal with gold scrollwork.
A small, full-length female figurehead. She wears a green bodice, a yellow skirt, and a red/gold sash which crosses over her breast. Her right arm is holding the sash, and the left arm which acrosses the breast is holding a flower. Her left leg is shown as if stepping forward, and she looks up and slightly left. She wears a necklace, gold earrings, and gold/black bracelets on both wrists.The figure has blue eyes and brown hair gathered in a bun at the back of head, with some hair worn down at the back. There is a red rose with green leaves in her hair on top of the head.
A full-length male figurehead with silver armour and a helmet which has large white plume of feathers. It has red drapery, a black pedestal, and gold scrollwork. He wears brown gloves and has black hair and moustache, and blue eyes. His right arm is raised and stretched forward, the left arm is by his side. He is looking forward and slightly up.
A half-length female figurehead. She is wearing a dark red dress with white collar and cuffs, and a gold circular brooch at the centre of her collar. She has dark brown hair which is gathered into a bun at the back and decorated with yellow flowers and green leaves on both sides of her head. The figure has green eyes and is looking forward.
It is a large three-quarter lengthbearded male figurehead. It has a brown, gold and blue pedestal with gold scroll work and game birds on both sides of pedestal. The birds are incomplete where the figurehead has been cut from the ship.
The figure wears a dark green jacket with brown collar, cuffs and buttons, black hat, and red check shirt with black bow tie and kerchief. He is holding a gun in both hands and looking up.
The figurehead represents a large full-length female (or possibly male) figure in Native North American Indian dress. Her costume is decorated with blue feathers, colourful edging and a belt with long white feathers hanging down. Her right shoulder is exposed and there is a tan coloured cloak over her left shoulder. She is wearing an armband (gold, white feathers) on her right arm, gold bracelets on both wrists, and a purse on her belt on the left side. She holds a 'Pipe of Peace' in her right hand (a long brown pipe with feathers). She has a white and red feather headdress. She has long black hair, and is looking up with her left arm across the breast. The lower part of the figure is covered by red drapery. There is a brown pedestal with green leaf decoration.
The figurehead has two gold cherubs either side of blue oval plaque. The plaque has carving of a ship, flying St. George's flags. There are flowers, fruit and leaves carved below the plaque and cherubs. There is a scrollwork at the top of the plaque, and black grapes and leaves on the top of the scrollwork. The right hand of the cherub on the right and the left hand of the cherub on the left rest on the grapes.
This is a full-length figurehead with a red umbrella in her right hand holding a black/gold book with her left arm. She is wearing a dark blue skirt, brown jacket with black buttons, and white frilly blouse. She has long dark brown hair, and is looking up and slightly left.
Large gold eagle with open wings perched on black pedestal. Black and gold scrollwork on pedestal.
A full-length female figure in the dress of the 1840’s. She wears a dress with a low-cut, tight-waisted bodice. Her hair is in long ringlets on either side of the head. There are slots for arms but these are missing.
A three-quarter-length female figure wearing a belted overdress. She holds a rose in her right hand. Her left hand is by her side.
A full-length female figure wearing a diadem and earrings, a loose belted dress and a cloak. The cloak is held across the body by the right hand.
A full-length female figure wearing a turban and Turkish trousers. She carries a feather fan in either hand.
A three-quarter-length figure of a nude woman, terminating in leaves, her hands behind her head.
This small half-length figurehead of a young girl from the wooden barque 'Rosa Tacchini' may be a portrait connected with the owners of the ship. It has been deliberately kept in its unrestored condition as an example of the state some items were originally in, washed up after some time in the sea.
Polychrome figurehead which (though not completely certain) appears to represent St Bernard of Clairvaux at half-length, with a crown in the form of a building - presumably his abbey - holding a pastoral staff in the right hand, and set within the scroll of a billet-head.
Polychrome and gilded waist-length female bust figurehead, from an unknown vessel. The figure may be a portrait and is in a low-cut blue evening gown, with a white panel at the breast, a gold belt and gold necklace. The hair is dressed in ringlets over the ears, with gold hair clips. The dress style is about 1828 and suggests British origin.
A bearded polychrome half-length male figure of a highlander in military uniform, with blue plaid over the left shoulder and a bonnet with a chequered band.
Three-quarter length polychrome female figurehead, in a blue day dress with 'engageant' sleeves over a white chemise with a wide collar. The chemise bears a gold brooch at the breast just above the right hand, which is across the body below and holds a pink rose. The left arm is by the side and the hair simply gathered over the ears. This item's traditional local name of 'Puritan lady' is based on its appearance, but it is clearly a 19th-century piece in characteristic early 1860s dress that suggests British origin. The plain but distinctive features also strongly suggest it is a specific portrait, but nothing else is known about it.
Small three-quarter length polychrome female figurehead from the wooden schooner 'Jane Owen'. This pretty little figure is in a blue evening dress of a style about 1850-55, with a low-cut top that conceals the absence of arms on the figure and bears a red rose at the breast.
Finely carved long-bust-length polychrome figurehead from the wooden brig or brigantine 'Rosherville' of London, representing a gentleman in dress of about 1837 with a jewelled pin in his cravat.
Half-length polychrome female figurehead, wearing a blue cloak framing her two-tone brown dress with a white trim and a gilt cameo at the breast. The cloak also neatly conceals the lack of arms. The hair is dark, centrally parted and gathered at the sides. The plain strong facial features suggest it is a specific portrait but nothing else is known of the ship. The style of dress indicates British origin around 1850.
Figurehead from the wooden ketch 'Volunteer', in the form of a small half-kneeling polychrome uniformed figure of a military volunteer, complete with hat and rifle. It is supported by a green scroll carving below.
Elegant white and gilded half-length female figurehead, apparently in an evening gown with a high waistband and shawl,the hair dressed high, supported on a black and gilded scroll.
A long bust-length polychrome male figurehead apparently in the form of a Roman soldier, with a cloak draped over armour. The costume suggests it came from a vessel whose name had some association with ancient Rome, but no other information is recorded about its origins.
This polychrome fish-head, protruding below a damaged scroll carving is traditionally known on Tresco as the ‘Dolphin’ and - despite its rather more 'fishy' appearance - may come from a vessel of that name, of which there were many in the 19th century. However nothing else has been recorded and no ‘Dolphin’ is known to have been wrecked on the Isles of Scilly.
A full-length polychrome female figurehead, including the feet, dressed in a ‘shepherdess’ or pastoral style in a blue tunic over a white undergarment, and a red skirt, both with gold edging. The left arm is crossed over the breast. The extended right arm is missing but was clearly detachable at sea, since the shoulder has the vertical 'female' groove into which it slotted. Unfortunately nothing else is known about it.
Figurehead of the barque 'Palinurus', in the form of a full-length polychrome painted male figure, including feet, in formal dress of about 1830. He holds a hunting-sword or cutlass transversely above his head with his extended right arm, as if parrying a blow.
Nothing definite is known about this very skilfully carved and gilded eagle figurehead, with a resisting snake held between its beak and right talons. It is traditionally said to be a Mexican eagle from a French wreck of before 1850.
Unidentified full-length polychrome female figurehead, including both feet visible below the hem of the gown. The arms are cut off flush below the shoulders and it is not certain if they were originally complete. The figure wears a blue dress with red panels in the bodice, a gilded necklace and a curious cap on the back of the head. Her traditional local name is 'Spanish lady' because of her appearance, but there is in fact nothing specifically Spanish about the costume, which probably indicates a date in the early 1840s.
White and gilded three-quarter length figurehead from the Liverpool tea clipper 'Friar Tuck' ,1856. It represents the fictitious friar from the English legend of Robin Hood, with a crucifix on a staff in his half-extended right hand.
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.
Polychrome painted and gilded half-length figurehead of a girl with long, flowing red hair, in a blue dress and holding a golden rose at her breast in her right hand. This example and that of the ‘Bernardo’ (FHD0053) show a variation on the usual form, in which a figure is designed to sit within a modified billet-bead. Unfortunately nothing is known of the ship from which this comes, though the dress is consistent with a British origin in the mid-1850s.
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.
It shows a presumably Turkish bearded figure in a jewelled turban round a red cap and wearing a cloak over a blue tunic with gilded tassel fastenings.
A fine three-quarter length female figurehead from the iron barque ‘River Lune’, in white and gilded classical-style dress with green trim and a green cloak. The hair is long and flowing with a gold headdress and the left arm holds the cloak across the lower breast.
A fine three-quarter length, white-painted female figurehead, with gilded decoration. The dress is essentially 19th-century but classicized and the figure wears a small gold crown or tiara. The right arm is across the breast and the left by the figure's side holds a fold of the gown.
Gilded and painted figurehead of a crouching and snarling lion, locally called 'Golden Lion', from an unidentified vessel.
White-painted and gilded three-quarter-length figurehead of a woman in classical-style dress wearing a small crown, her right arm across her body.
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.
Figurehead in the form of a fish. The finish in 2011 was gold.
Figurehead of HMS 'Ajax'. The polychrome-painted, bearded male figure is a half-length bust in classical armour and plumed helmet, wearing the Order of the Bath above a fiddle (backward turning) scroll: the armour is similar to that of FHD0061, made at Plymouth nearly thirty years before, suggesting common forms of source.
Figurehead from the troopship HMS 'Adventure' in the form of a female head wearing a crown of stars, and finished with polychrome oil paint.
Unidentified figurehead depicting a half-length, female figure in Turkish dress. She wears a yellow bodice and a blue turban and holds a rose in her left hand.
The figurehead of the ship 'Lord Clyde' depicting a major in a Scottish regiment (formerly known as General Havelock). He holds a scroll in his right hand, his left on the hilt of a sword. A plaid is draped across the left shoulder. The figure has a moustache.
Scale approx. 1:24. Model of the original figurehead on HMS Victory (1765), a first rate 100 gun warship. It has been carved from several pieces of boxwood which have been glued together to form one figurehead. There is a shoulder length bust of George III in classical dress, wearing a laurel leaf crown. Below, is a shield with the Union flag pre-1801, carved on and surrounded by putti. Behind the bust and shield, are two large female figures sitting on brickwork/castlations mounts, supported by figures representing the four continents. Behind the heads of these two figures are smaller, winged figures of Victory and Peace with a male lion beneath Victory, and a crowned and wreathed shield with a royal coat of arms beneath Peace. On the lower front edges, are two mythological/classical creatures: One appears to be a double headed dragon, the other a female figure or creature. Both have parts missing. Two standing putti complete the lower part of the figurehead and are holding the horn of plenty and a globe (?). There are several parts missing from the model, such as hands, faces, feet, foliage and wings.
A dark curly haired mustachioed male figure in classical drapes, representing a Roman tribune.
Figurehead of Spanish two-decker. Female head wearing a crown. Removed by officers of HMS 'Sirius'.
Figurehead of HMS 'Russell', representing Admiral Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford. On the left side is a shield bearing the Union flag inscribed with the name 'LA HOGUE'. This refers to Russell's victory over the French in 1692 in the bay of La Hogue (near Cherbourg) which neutralized the threat of the exiled James II invading England to reclaim his throne from his joint-monarch son-in-law and daughter, King William III and Mary II.
Pine figurehead depicting the head of the mythological one-eyed giant Cyclops, blinded by Odysseus (Ulysses) in Homer's 'Odyssey' . It is finished with black oil paint and weighs 63 kilograms.
Figurehead of Nelson's funeral car, the design of which was based on that of a ship, with a beakhead and transom. The carving represents a dark-haired, semi-naked female figure of 'Victory' and/or 'Fame' holding a laurel wreath and palm branch. Her white classical robe is knotted at the waist and is bisected by the supporting beakhead bracket.
Polychrome-painted, pine figurehead of HMS 'London', in the form of a female figure wearing a mural crown (a traditional attribute of cities) which may be based on the White Tower in the Tower of London. '1861' (which, if a date, is not easily explained) is inscribed in the stem post. The right eye is notably higher than the left.
Full-length, polychrome painted pine figurehead depicting a lion, from an unidentified ship.
Full-length, polychrome-painted figurehead depicting a heraldic crowned lion, holding a small badge of the cross of Saint George at the breast, where it fitted over the stem-head. This is a rare survival of a standard Royal Naval lion figurehead from a small warship probably of the fourth or fifth rate. Its present paint scheme is as restored by the late Kim Allen of Westerham, Kent, in the 1970s but probably much more subtly than most were originally painted: many were largely plain gold, or yellow simulating it. Such lion figures were the standard figureheads of all Royal Naval ships which bore them and were not of a size to warrant an individual design, as was usually the case with first-, second- and (more variably) third-rates. They were also standard in other European navies allowing for local differences of design. This is one of only two surviving British examples: the other, which is larger and probably a little later, supports the gable of the Red Lion Inn at Martlesham in Suffolk. There is an older, probably 17th-century example in Sussex, but in poor condition and of uncertain origin. FHD0089 is another example in the Museum collection, thought to be of 18th-century north European origin.
A half-length female figure wearing a white dress with scalloped neck line, with a blue pinafore style cloak, fastened at the shoulders. A classical hair style caught in a bun.
Figurehead of a merchantman, whose dress style is considered firm evidence of coming from a French ship though nothing more specific is known of it. It represents a three-quarter-length, polychrome-painted, female figure in mid-eighteenth century dress, holding a posy of flowers in her right hand, a closed fan in her left hand and pearls around her neck.
Figurehead of HMS 'Favourite', comprising a half length female figure in a high-waisted, off the shoulder dress with square neckline and pearl necklace, with a rose in her hair. Her hair is curled at the front and tied up at the back.
White-painted figurehead of the iron merchant sailing ship 'Coriolanus' , 1876, in the form of a male bust in armour and helmet, representing the Roman general Gaius Marcus Coriolanus (most familiar through Shakespeare's bloody tragedy based on him). The figure is supported by foliate carving. This figurehead is in fact a replacement, having been carved in 1902 after the original full-length one was lost when the ship went aground in Algoa Bay, South Africa, during a hurricane.
Cream or white-painted figurehead of the schooner 'Britannia', latterly of Littlehampton. It represents a three-quarter-length female figure of Britannia in a mail coat and helmet.The right arm is held across the breast, the left straight down the left side.
Polychrome-painted figurehead in the form of a half-length female figure holding flowers in the right hand, across the breast. She is clad in a mid ninteenth century costume.
Bust of Greek or Roman warrior in a natural dark wood finish. In plumed helmet, half-length.
A seabird perched on a scroll in a crouched position with wings partly spread. Painted: multi-coloured.
Polychrome-painted, restored, figurehead depicting a jester or clown, at full length but entirely armless, in a costume similar to traditional motley, with bells on the tunic, a cloak behind and a fool's cap. The words 'HERE WE ARE AGAIN' are inscribed on the supporting stem-post. This is a catch-phrase originally associated with the great pantomime clown Joseph Grimaldi (1779-1837), and the face might be intended as a likeness, though the costume is not the clown's dress in which Grimaldi is generally recorded.
A serpent with several coils. The figurehead consists of four parts, FHD0080.1, FHD0080.2 , FHD0080.3 and a sign FHD0080.4.
This is a small female bust. She wears a red top and a silver helmet with a white plume. She has long blonde hair worn loose. There is a blue pedestal with white scrollwork and red detail at the bottom of pedestal. The figurehead has blue eyes and is looking forward.
This is a full-length male figurehead with a moustached face. He wears a tartan plaid over his uniform. The right arm is held across the chest, with the right hand holding a scroll. The figure is thought to depict Major-General Henry Havelock (1795-1857)
A half-length female figure wearing a pink dress with blue waistband and sash/wrap. She has brown eyes and black hair with green leaves/wreath on top of her head. There is a black scrollwork at the base.
A large full-length female figurehead having no arms or feet. She wears a dark blue dress with a single strap across her left (exposed) shoulder. The dress has a red waistband and hem. She has loose blonde wavy hair, some pulled back with a red headband and blue eyes. She is looking slightly right. Her left leg is shown stepping forward.
A three-quarter length female figure having no arms. She is wearing a yellow dress with white edging, and her right breast is exposed. She has light brown hair which is in a bun at the back with some hair worn down. There is a gold ornament in her hair, on top of the head. She has brown eyes, looking up and left.
A small three quarter length female figure wearing a blue skirt and light blue tunic. She has long blonde hair worn down and curls at her fringe. Her right arm is across the breast, and the left arm is down by side, both arms are very long. She has a very pale coloured skin, and blue eyes which are looking up.
A female head which is mounted on the black circular plaque. She has brown hair which has curls at the side of her head and is tied back into a bun at the back. Her eyes are brown.
A male head which is mounted on the black circular plaque. He has brown hair with sideburns and green eyes. He wears a high white collar and a black bow tie.
Female three-quarter-length bust, wearing a dress with frilled sleeves, one breast bare. Her long hair has been tied back in a ponytail. The carving is currently (2013) painted with a blue dress and reddish blonde hair.
This is a full-length male figure without feet, representing Guiseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), the Italian mercenary and patriot who played a critical role in the founding of the united Italian state. He is wearing a loose blue tunic, cream trousers, red neckscarf and white collar, and brown belt. He has black beard and hair, and brown eyes.
The figurehead is a passable representation of William Ewart Gladstone in his middle years. It shows a half-length male figure with black jacket, red waistcoat with gold spots, black buttons, purple collar, white shirt with black bow tie. He has receding grey hair, long sideburns, and grey eyes. He is facing forward and holding a white scroll.
A half-length male figurehead on a brown pedestal with gold scrollwork. He is wearing a white coat with gold buttons, a high gold/red collar, with a brown strap across the right shoulder, a belt and drapery. He wears a tall red fez (no tassell) and has black hair and moustache, but no left arm or shoulder.
Half-size female figurehead. She wears blue dress, red jacket with white belt, collar and sleeves, and red head-dress with white and blue detail (a Phrygian hat or cap of liberty).
She has a brown pedestal, gold and white scrollwork, and has long black hair worn down at the back. A section of the hair is missing-right at the side of the head. She has blue eyes and is looking left.
'Nannie' is a white female figure with left arm held forward and holding a genuine horse's tail. In the days when she was still sailing, the tail used to be made out of old rope, teased out by the apprentices on board.
She is wearing a loose-fitting garment with gold trim. It slips off her right shoulder leaving both breasts exposed. She has long hair and her mouth is slightly opened. The figurehead has a small black pedestal and gold scrollwork.
A half-length female figurehead with black pedestal and gold scrollwork. She wears a blue/green dress with dark red detail and gold buttons which run down the front and along the arms. The figure has dark hair tied in a plait down the back. She has dark brown eyes and is looking forward.
Half-length (probably female) figure without arms, the figurehead terminating in scroll work. She wears a helmet and scaled breast plate.
Three-quarter-length portrait of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield (1804- 1881), with a goatee beard, and side whiskers, and wearing a coat, waistcoat, shirt with stand-up collar and a bow tie.
Model figurehead of the barque 'Durban', 1870, representing the half (almost three-quarter) length figure of a bearded Zulu warrior with a shield on his left arm. The right arm is missing.
Bearded figure of Neptune, wearing a crown and holding a trident. The ship from which it came is unidentified.
Full-length bearded male figure, draped, wearing a laurel wreath and holding a book. Previously identified as 'Peace'. The ship from which it came is unidentified.
Rudder head in the form of a warrior's head carved in the baroque style. The warrior wears a peaked, winged helmet, the top of the helmet in the form of an animal head. The figure has a hooked nose and a moustache with two locks of long hair falling down his back. He wears scaled armour and a ruffled neck-cloth. The carving terminates in two spirals at the sides.
Female figurehead with red hair wearing a blue cape/mantle. Probably from HMS 'Adventure' 1855?
Gold-painted half-length figurehead of Thomas Brassey's steam yacht 'Sunbeam' ,1874, representing a female angel, looking upwards and forwards with hands crossed on the breast. It is based on Brassey’ s daughter Constance Alberta, whose nickname was 'Sunbeam'. Born on 18 February 1868 she died of scarlet fever, aged four, on 24 January 1873 and the 531-ton luxury yacht, launched the following year, commemorates her in both its name and with the figurehead.
Figurehead depicting a female head in a helmet decorated with an olive branch and plume. It is from an unidentified vessel.
Pine unidentified figurehead. The figurehead depicts a bearded male head which is wearing a spiked brass crown, which possibly represents Neptune. Probably 19th century.
Figurehead of a female wearing an off the shoulder dress. Dress decorations made of lead. Early Victorian hair style with a bun. Neck choker with six star pendant. Probably belonged to HMS 'Star'.
Polychrome-painted figurehead in the form of a lion's head, from an unidentified ship.
Black-and-white painted and part-gilded figurehead in the form of a half-length bust of King Edward VII, in naval uniform with epaulettes, emerging from a foliate scroll head. It comes from a model brig built by Edward VII in 1904 for his grandchildren and sailed on Virginia Water. It was based on a 42-foot naval cutter, reconstructed and rigged as a 10-gun brig at Sheerness Dockyard. On completion it was towed up the Thames as far as Brentford then loaded onto road transport for the short journey to Virginia Water, where it was actively used by the royal children for 13 years. In 1919 it was condemned and broken up, the figurehead and stern nameboard (FHD0065.2) being saved.
Half-length polychrome bust figurehead depicting a fashionable gentleman in a double-breasted blue coat, with a rolled collar and high-collared cravat. The figure may, however, be a personal portrait, and possibly of a so-far-unidentified public figure (as was the case until the late 1970s with FHD0023, of Tsar Alexander I).
This female three quarter length bust wears a navy blue tunic, falling off the right shoulder to reveal her breast. She also wears a mustard and blue bulrush wreath, which suggests that the ship was named after a river of which the figure is a personification.
The bust of a woman holding a wreath of flowers.
Wooden figurehead, head and neck only, possibly a saracen with black moustache, black hair, a white lambswool cap and gold circlet.