Figurehead on Sailing Ships


Figureheads Ornamental head, butt, or figured mounted under the bowsprit Decorative shipcarving was one of the trades that flourished in shipbuilding regions in the nineteenth century. Figureheads conveyed a sense of prosperity that reflected favorably on the vessel's owners and builders.
It was the design of wooden ship's bows that determined whether the decoration would be a full figure, half-length or only a bust. Sometimes, only an ornament was chosen. When the shipowner ordered a ship, he decided whether he would pay for a figurehead. If he did, many figures
might depict the shipowner himself, his wife or children; Famous individuals, mythological characters, and patriotic themes were the most popular subjects.
. The carving was placed in the bow so that its eyes could find the way and the positive properties, directly or indirectly,further the purpose of the journey.

Danmark Full Rigged Sailing Ship ------------------Akogar Top Sail Schooner 171 feet 1993

Barquentine Dewaruci East Java 191 feet 1952

Amerigo Vespucci Full Rigged Ship 330 feet Steel 1930 -----------------------Mir Russia Full Rigged Sailing Ship 358 ft 1987

'Juan Sebastian de Elcano - Spain 370 feet Top sail schooner steel hull built 1927

Schooner Larinda
 
Carving Figureheads & Other Nautical Designs by Alan Bridgewater, Gill Bridgewater (Contributor) Old Ship Figure-Heads and Sterns : With Which Are Associated Galleries, Hancing-Pieces, Catheads and Divers Other Matters
 
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