Figureheads are among the most
important treasures in Mystic Seaport’s collections.
They are extremely popular with visitors most obviously they are very dramatic. figureheads are ornamentation for ships and they date back to very early seafaring days. Very often
represented Gods or spiritual beliefs they were used
to help protect the ship to enhance its properties its vision it’s fighting ability. The tradition
continued and they’re really reach their peak in
the United States in the eighteen hundreds They’re almost a classic symbol of America’s
relationship with the sea. They were very highly prized by the owners by the captains and
also the crew and the in many cases symbolize lots of
things that the ship stood for. The craftsmanship is outstanding
the men who produce these were generally known as ship carvers and this was
their specialty. Very carefully carved and they represent
pretty high level the carver’s skill some of them are exceptionally
detailed and very powerful to look at. America maritime activity was enormously
important in the 1800s. And these are symbols that, they remind
us of how important those sailing days were.