Ship's Carved Figurehead From The British East Idianman Ship PHOEBE 1844
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Ship's Carved Figurehead From The British East Idianman Ship PHOEBE 1844
 
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An extremely rare occurrence, this 19TH Century carved pinewood figurehead carries her name that she shared with the vessel she served. Down the length of her polychrome red hair ribbon, the word Phoebe twice emblazoned, indicating the British East Indiaman for which she was made. Master builder Duncan Dunbar would build the ship in Sunderland in 1844, the smallest of the Blackwall Frigate that he’d ever build at 578 tons. She quickly was added to the British East India Company’s fleet of ships, serving primarily from London to Calcutta.

Properly attired in a vested dress with adornments, she looks quite scholarly, even without noticing the red book tucked neatly in her left hand. Unfortunately, her right arm which once probably extended is no longer with the well-craved figurehead. The detail of the hair strands tightly bound, the full-figured yet modest proportions and the floral lace of the clothing all attest to the compliment of scale and composition. She makes the picture of a proper English woman, right down to her facial features.

Primly posed, the lady is slightly raked back to account for the angle of attachment, and has the wood plugs and thick backboard to properly have her mounted. Her old enamel paint has survived nicely, and look s dignified even with some of the stains of age.

Provenance: Richard Headley, Santa Barbara, California.

SIZE: 39 Inches High with a 17½ x 15½ Inch Base