Figurehead of the Steam Yacht Sunbeam
- Figurehead type
- Figurehead of the Steam Yacht Sunbeam
- Vessel name
- Steam Yacht Sunbeam
- Type (Naval/Merchant)
- Copyright owner
- © National Maritime Museum
- Copyright notes
- Photo: © National Maritime Museum
- Current location
- On display in Neptune Court, NMM
- Location date
- 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.
- Bowdler Chafter & Co.
- Date made
- Place made
- H165 x W63.5 x D63.5 cms
- Wood: Pine
- Object history
- Figurehead was previously housed in Manor House, Apethorpe, Peterborough before being presented to the NMM by Lady Brassey of 9 The Gateways, Chelsea, London, S.W.3, in October of 1973.
- Vessel history
- 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. Brassey (1836-1918), son of Thomas senior the railway contractor, was a Liberal politican with a particular interest in naval matters. He was Civil Lord of the Admiralty in 1880-84 and governor of Victoria, Australia, 1895-1900. Knighted in 1881 he became a baron in 1886, the year he inaugurated the celebrated 'Brassey's Naval Annual', and Earl Brassey in 1911. His wife Annie (1839-87) was a passionate traveller and a writer on travelling, whose best-selling 'Voyage of the Sunbeam' (1878) records their 11-month family voyage round the world in 1876-77. As HM Yacht 'Liberty', 'Sunbeam' was later used as a hospital ship in the First World War: Norman Wilkinson's painting of her in this role was formerly on loan to the Museum.
- "A Voyage in the Sunbeam" - Lady Brassey 1878
"The Last Voyage" - Lord Brassey, 1887, Longmans
"Sunbeam R.Y.S." - Earl Brassey, 1917, John Murray
- Owner type
- Public Institution
- Owner name
- National Maritime Museum
- Contact details
- Royal Museums Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
- Ownership can be cited online
- Accessible to public
- Data verified by owner
- Date verified
The figureheads database contains records of over 300 figureheads.