They are considered the only tangible evidence of the "Great Age of Sail." But what other purposes did sailors believe figureheads served? What stories do these beautiful objects tell? And what do the different characters symbolize? On the Bow of the Ship contains over fifty examples of wooden carvings from the National Maritime Museum in London, home to the world's most extensive collection of figureheads. The illustrated guide explores themes surrounding these unique carvings from mythology and gender to politics and literature. For instance, superstitious crew members often lovingly cared for their figureheads, which were often the only female presence on board.
On the Bow of the Ship delves deeply into the history and contexts of figureheads and, by so doing, provides a fresh image of the life at sea.
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