Figureheads

Decoration and the soul of the sailing ships

The fishermen of the Mediterranean painted eyes to the bow of their boats. Usual subjects for figureheads are heads of animals, mythologic motifs, figures of saints and personages, women, arms and escutcheons, which are fitted at the bow of a sailing ship below the bowsprit.

The figurehead of a sailing ship is loved and deified by the crew. She is seen as a symbol of the vessel giving the ship a soul. Often there is a correlation between the figurehead and the name of a sailing ship.

It is a superstition by seamen that a figurehead watches the route of a sailing ship and preserves the ship from bad weather and wreckage. Sometimes the figurehead was the patron of the sailing ship and influenced the success of a voyage. The damage or destruction of a figurehead is interpreted as a bad omen.

Figureheads are the decoration of a sailing ship, and therefore we often take photos of them.

Do you want to see more figureheads or do you want to meet the artists creating this applied art?
Hartmann Design - Atelier für Skulptur und Malerei
Maritima Woodcarving, Andy Peters
Lynx Guimond, Freelance woodworker
Holzwerkstatt Meyer - Handwerk & Design, Dieter Meyer
Atelier Reudenroos

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Figureheads of sailing ships

 Individuals  Animals  Ornaments

Figureheads of individuals

Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci

Life size figure of the explorer Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci

Life size figure of the explorer Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci

Life size figure of the explorer Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci

Life size figure of the explorer Amerigo Vespucci

Antigua

Antigua

Made by Claus and Birgit Hartmann, installed in 2003

Aphrodite

Aphrodite

Mermaid, made by Reudenroos Atelier, Lutjebroek, Enkhuizen

Aphrodite

Aphrodite

Mermaid, made by Reudenroos Atelier, Lutjebroek, Enkhuizen

Aphrodite

Aphrodite

Mermaid, made by Reudenroos Atelier, Lutjebroek, Enkhuizen

Aphrodite

Aphrodite

Mermaid, made by Reudenroos Atelier, Lutjebroek, Enkhuizen

Arawak

Arawak

Head of an Arawak (native tribe in the Caribbean) with feathered headdress

Arawak

Arawak

Head of an Arawak (native tribe in the Caribbean) with feathered headdress

Bounty II

Bounty II

Replica of the figure of the wife of the first owner of the original Bounty, Lady Bethia

Bounty II

Bounty II

Replica of the figure of the wife of the first owner of the original Bounty, Lady Bethia

Concordia

Concordia

Teenagers and the globe to point out the main use of the ship, made by James A. Knowles, installed since 2002

Concordia

Concordia

Teenagers and the globe to point out the main use of the ship, made by James A. Knowles, installed since 2002

Cuauhtémoc

Cuauhtémoc

Aztec brave with the headdress of an eagle in dependence to the eponym of the ship

Cuauhtémoc

Cuauhtémoc

Aztec brave with the headdress of an eagle in dependence to the eponym of the ship

Cuauhtémoc

Cuauhtémoc

Aztec brave with the headdress of an eagle in dependence to the eponym of the ship

Cuauhtémoc

Cuauhtémoc

Aztec brave with the headdress of an eagle in dependence to the eponym of the ship

Cuauhtémoc

Cuauhtémoc

Aztec brave with the headdress of an eagle in dependence to the eponym of the ship

Cuauhtémoc

Cuauhtémoc

Aztec brave with the headdress of an eagle in dependence to the eponym of the ship

Cuauhtémoc

Cuauhtémoc

Aztec brave with the headdress of an eagle in dependence to the eponym of the ship

Cuauhtémoc

Cuauhtémoc

Aztec brave with the headdress of an eagle in dependence to the eponym of the ship

Cuauhtémoc

Cuauhtémoc

Aztec brave with the headdress of an eagle in dependence to the eponym of the ship

Dewaruci

Dewaruci

Indonesian legendary figure, disposer and paladin of the sea, or also the god of courage and braveness

Dewaruci

Dewaruci

Indonesian legendary figure, disposer and paladin of the sea, or also the god of courage and braveness

Dewaruci

Dewaruci

Indonesian legendary figure, disposer and paladin of the sea, or also the god of courage and braveness

Elissa

Elissa

White figure of a woman (face modelled after Mary Moody Northen to thank for donations by the Moody Foundation) with a yellow rose (The Yellow Rose of Texas) in her hand, made by Eli Kuslansky, installed since 1982

Étoile du Roy

Étoile du Roy

Figure of a man with turban and the appearence of the Turks (ex-name)

Étoile du Roy

Étoile du Roy

Female pirate Violette de la Hisse, made by Valérie Gauthier (story) and Stéphane Desdouets, installed since July 2012

Étoile du Roy

Étoile du Roy

Female pirate Violette de la Hisse, made by Valérie Gauthier (story) and Stéphane Desdouets, installed since July 2012

Étoile du Roy

Étoile du Roy

Female pirate Violette de la Hisse, made by Valérie Gauthier (story) and Stéphane Desdouets, installed since July 2012

Étoile du Roy

Étoile du Roy

Female pirate Violette de la Hisse, made by Valérie Gauthier (story) and Stéphane Desdouets, installed since July 2012

Étoile du Roy

Étoile du Roy

Female pirate Violette de la Hisse, made by Valérie Gauthier (story) and Stéphane Desdouets, installed since July 2012

Europa

Europa

made by Annemarie Visser about 1986-1994, 2009 damaged by an iceberg and lost while sailing in the Antarctica

Europa

Europa

Figurs from the Greek legend, Europa follows the white bull, made by Lynx Guimond, installed since March 2010

Fridtjof Nansen

Fridtjof Nansen

Inuit hunter with harpoon, made by Claus and Birgit Hartmann, installed since spring 1997

Fridtjof Nansen

Fridtjof Nansen

Inuit hunter with harpoon, made by Claus and Birgit Hartmann, installed since spring 1997

Fridtjof Nansen

Fridtjof Nansen

Inuit hunter with harpoon, made by Claus and Birgit Hartmann, installed since spring 1997

Georg Stage

Georg Stage

Patron saint, golden bust of the eponym Georg Stage

Georg Stage

Georg Stage

Patron saint, golden bust of the eponym Georg Stage

Georg Stage

Georg Stage

Patron saint, golden bust of the eponym Georg Stage

Großherzogin Elisabeth

Großherzogin Elisabeth

Figure of a woman after the eponym grand duchess Elisabeth, made by Claus and Birgit Hartmann

Gunilla

Gunilla

Portrait of the daughter Gunilla of a former owner

Kaliakra

Kaliakra

Figure of a women to symbolise the legendary eponym

Kaliakra

Kaliakra

Figure of a women to symbolise the legendary eponym

Lili Marleen

Lili Marleen

Figure of a woman which represents Lili Marleen from a soldier song, made by Claus and Birgit Hartmann

Lili Marleen

Lili Marleen

Figure of a woman which represents Lili Marleen from a soldier song, made by Claus and Birgit Hartmann

Mircea

Mircea

Romanian duke Mircea Staria

Mircea

Mircea

Romanian duke Mircea Staria

Rickmer Rickmers

Rickmer Rickmers

Rickmer, grandchild of the founder of the Rickmers shipping company, installed since 1986, made by Dieter Meyer

Shabab Oman

Shabab Oman

Figure of a man with a turban and the appearance of the Arabic peninsula, hommage to Ahmad ibn Majid, Arabic navigator and cartographer (1421-1500)

Shabab Oman

Shabab Oman

Figure of a man with a turban and the appearance of the Arabic peninsula, hommage to Ahmad ibn Majid, Arabic navigator and cartographer (1421-1500)

Shabab Oman

Shabab Oman

Figure of a man with a turban and the appearance of the Arabic peninsula, hommage to Ahmad ibn Majid, Arabic navigator and cartographer (1421-1500)

Signora del Vento

Signora del Vento

Woman with dove of peace in dependance on her ex-name PEACE, made by Claus and Birgit Hartmann, installed in Sept. 1998

Stad Amsterdam

Stad Amsterdam

Women with symbols of the fight for freedom of the city of Amsterdam, the sorrows of the city during WWII and the sailing in all seas of the world, made by Reudenroos Atelier, Lutjebroek, Enkhuizen

Tenacious

Tenacious

Mermaid with helmet plate

Tenacious

Tenacious

Mermaid with helmet plate

Tres Hombres

Tres Hombres

Woman with different symbols, made by Lynx Guimond

Tres Hombres

Tres Hombres

Woman with different symbols, made by Lynx Guimond

Tres Hombres

Tres Hombres

Woman with different symbols, made by Lynx Guimond

Zawisza Czarny II

Zawisza Czarny II

Black head of a knight for the legendary Zawisza the Black of Garbów, also known as the Black Knight

Zawisza Czarny II

Zawisza Czarny II

Black head of a knight for the legendary Zawisza the Black of Garbów, also known as the Black Knight

Zawisza Czarny II

Zawisza Czarny II

Black head of a knight for the legendary Zawisza the Black of Garbów, also known as the Black Knight

Baltic Beauty

Baltic Beauty

Ornamentation entangled by an eel

Baltic Beauty

Baltic Beauty

Ornamentation entangled by an eel

Gorch Fock (2)

Gorch Fock (2)

Albatros, already 6th figurehead of this kind, installed in February 2004

Götheborg

Götheborg

Lion, made by Andy Peters

Götheborg

Götheborg

Lion, made by Andy Peters

Götheborg

Götheborg

Lion, made by Andy Peters

Gulden Leeuw

Gulden Leeuw

Head of a lion, made by Henriko and Henk Kalter, installed in 2012

Italia

Italia

Swan (ex-name of the ship)

Khersones

Khersones

Albatros, made by Claus and Birgit Hartmann

Morgenster

Morgenster

Seahorse and women, made by Lynx Guimond

Morgenster

Morgenster

Seahorse and women, made by Lynx Guimond

Morgenster

Morgenster

Seahorse and women, made by Lynx Guimond

Sedov

Sedov

Coat of arms and Cyrillic letters which represent the initials of the Murmansk fishery co-operative, made by Claus and Birgit Hartmann, installed in 1999