I’ve always been fascinated with shipbuilding, particularly during the 18th century. Figureheads were carried by nearly all warships of the time as a sign of strength and power, each representing the ship’s name. The end production cost could make up to 20% of the overall ship’s build.
Seen below are a collection of some of the most impressive wooden carved figureheads to survive the ravages of time. They are currently on display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
As science advanced and the need for speed became of paramount importance, these heavy majestic emblems became obsolete and were all but gone by the start of the 20th century.