Carved 19th Century American Ship Figurehead American

Circa 1855
64 x 19 x 15 inches
 
   

Carved 19th Century American Ship Figurehead
 
(American Indian Woman from Nantucket)

Circa 1855
64 x 19 x 15 inches
 
   

This large figurehead is rare in that it is a complete figure head to foot. Rescued from her decorative status residing in a Nantucket resort for more than 50 years, this American carved Figurehead is a quality antique from the age of American merchant sail. The classic blend of an American Indian Woman with Western Civilization trappings of a flowing toga robe, a floral cornucopia tucked within her left arm, show the duality of the American commercial spirit - original and yet "old-world" all at once. The quality work by this unknown carver is quite accomplished, and would most likely have been recognizable to his contemporaries in the craft.

The indigenous population of Nantucket made it possible for the early survival of Western settlers, and later the grand profits of the whaling industry, through their shared knowledge. This figurehead holds a spoken, shared provenance that it came off an American Merchant Ship, and resided with a Nantucket shipping family until it landed in a resort collection on the Massachusetts island. Such carvings are becoming increasingly rare and are collected worldwide.


Provenance: Nantucket Island Resort