A quality ship's figurehead carving, time has claimed this work's formal identity. We strongly feel that such a unique carving was made to decorate a specific ship, named after the man who inspired the carver. Possibly a posthumous tribute to a company's founder, a business owner, or a noted captain. Well carved, this work emboldened the bow of a coast-wise vessel, looking forward at the progress of its ship.
Our speculation over his nationality is far from conclusive. The blue collar is telling of a nautical affiliation, if he is French or Italian, as we suspect. Could he be a well-dressed British man, or even, as a colleague supposed, a bare-knuckle boxer dressed up to celebrate a recent victory? Tobacco business lord from Scotland? His moustache is nearly universal late 19th Century.
Whoever he is, and whomever carved this figurehead, it is a fine representation of man's head and upper shoulders, and would have held its position on a ships bow proudly. Unlike many figureheads this one retains very old paint. Their exposure to the elements meant that figureheads were repainted often and many old figureheads sport newer paint jobs while this one has a great, aged patina. Today, it sits on a sleek and well-built pillar to display in a collection.
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