|The Kalmar Nyckel (Key of Kalmar), Dutch-built |
ship that carried Swedish settlers to America in1638.
|Photo taken by Carla at Mystic Seaport.|
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Types of figureheads: Lions were the favorite figurehead for most nations in the 17th century and later on British military ships. Some chose other designs such as St. George slaying the dragon. In the 18th century many designs were representations of the name of the ship, such as a guillotine and often classical or mythological figures such as mermaids, goddesses, and even literary characters.
In my novella, Carving a Future in Colonial Courtships (Barbour/2012), I tell the story of a ship's figurehead carver who is working as a journeyman and on his way to become a master carver. He is commissioned to carve the heroine in the story. The research that I did in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut was fascinating. I so enjoyed looking at the beautiful carvings and learning about the process. At Mystic Seaport I was able to interview a few interpreters at the ship carver's shop. I did further research with a famous figurehead carver, Martin Jeffery, from Australia.
|Ship carver's shop, Mystic Seaport, CT|
|Figureheads from Mystic Seaport|
Photos taken by Carla