By Andrew PetersA review by Richard HunterFigurehead Historian Any kind of original research no matter what the subject can be extremely arduous, visits to numerous  Museums, libraries and archives, searching over countless books and historic  documents hundreds of years old, imagine how difficult this would be if the subject you are researching covers countries as … Read more

Figureheads of the Royal Navy By David Pulvertaft

A review by Richard Hunter Figurehead Historian

by david pulvertaft 1Not all that long ago looking for a book on the subject of Ships Figureheads was very much limited to a few “General” works on the subject, exploring as they did the tradition on both Merchant and Naval vessels, offering the reader a narrow insight into both subjects, for anyone interested in primarily Naval Figureheads “Old Ship Figureheads and Sterns” by L G Carr Laughton published in 1925 has been the principal source of information, dealing with the style and construction of decorative carved work on and around the bow and stern of vessels, as well as British Naval Figureheads, Laughton also deals with the tradition of decoration in other major European nations, such as France, Spain, The Netherlands and Scandinavia,  with a number of re-prints over the years this I am sure will continue to be one of the primary  sources of information, when Laughton began to write  his book during the first quarter of the twentieth century.

Magnificent Miniatures

The art of Lloyd McCaffery

Standing in front of a massive ships Figurehead one is in awe of the skill, effort and time that went in to the creation of such icons of the sea, size and weight held little fear for the eighteenth and nineteenth century carvers, the original Figurehead of HMS Victory when she was built in 1765 stood a staggering 24 feet high and over 18 feet broad, the shear weight of wood needed to create this monster of a carving is difficult to imagine, if we turn the time clock forward over 200 years, we find a modern day craftsman  keeping the skill of figurehead carving alive, only this time the amount of materials need in wood and the  size of workshop is staggeringly small, the American Lloyd McCaffery has a skill equally as astounding as that given to our ancestors, only this time in reverse, his creations are figureheads in miniature, breathtaking  gems of the carvers art, that take weeks and months to create Lloyd offers an insight in to creations.