Product images of HMS 'Anson' figurehead
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All products are printed in the UK, using the latest digital presses and a giclée printmaking process.
We only use premium branded inks, and colours are independently verified to last between 100 and 200 years.
HMS 'Anson' figurehead
Finely carved bust-length figurehead (no arms) of HMS 'Anson', a 64-gun third-rate built at Plymouth Dockyard in 1781 but reduced to a 44-gun ship in 1794. It represents a bearded warrior in classical armour and plumed helmet, mounted on a fiddle-pattern (backward-turning) scroll. The pose, with the head looking upward to viewers right gives it unusual dynamism for a bust figurehead. The style of armour and helmet suggest neo-classical 17th- or early 18th-century prints as a source, and one of some commonality: FHD0120, from the 'Ajax' built in 1809 at Blackwall, is rather similar. It is possible that such early print sources were mediated through more popular ones such as fairground figures, puppets or stage costume. The 'Anson' was wrecked on the Looe Bar in Mount's Bay, Cornwall, on 29 December 1807 when the figurehead was presumably recovered. Its present natural-wood 'antique' finish may be the result of earlier painting being deliberately removed, since it would be very unusual to have a head that was not painted, however simply. It was acquired in 1943.
- Image reference: D7038
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London