Saturday, September 4, 2010

Figurehead Mania, Part 1

One of my vacation destinations was the Mariner Museum in Newport News, Virginia, primarily to see the turret and other artifacts recovered from the Civil War ironclad the U.S.S. Monitor. As a bonus, I got to see a lot of other cool stuff, like these great larger-than-lifesize ships' figureheads.

Columbia, from the Benmore, 1870-1924.
Benmore was a 3-masted bark built in Glasgow. When she was sold to an
American in 1920, the figurehead was repainted with this American flag design.

Apollo, from the Apollo, 1854-1908.
The German bark Apollo was wrecked off the coast of Norway,
where this figurehead washed ashore and was put on display.

Dutch Burgher, ship unknown, circa 1800

9 comments:

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I probably visited that museum when I was a kid. Great place.

Deka Black said...

Figureheads are the most scary kind of statues i could think. They seem gargoyles too prox to the ground.

But the weird thing is i like gargoyles.

David Cranmer said...

Marvelous museum.

Evan Lewis said...

We hit half a dozen museums on the trip, and this was the only one that allowed flash photography. Most banned ALL photos, which was pretty pissy. I snagged a few anyway, of course.

Kenneth Mark Hoover said...

Oh, man, I visited that museum in Newport News way back in the early 90s. Isn't it awesome?

George said...

Bill Pronzini has the answer to your question about a mystery writers equivalent to that SF collection, BEFORE THEY WERE GIANTS, Evan. Here's what Bill has to say:
Hi Steve--

Yep, there are two: OPENING SHOTS and OPENING SHOTS VOLUME TWO, both large format trade paperbacks edited by Lawrence Block and published by Cumberland House in 2000 and 2001 respectively. Lots of copies of both available cheap on ABE. My first story, "You Don't Know What It's Like," appears in the second volume, for what that info is worth.

Best,
Bill

George said...

Steve Lewis gets an "assist" on answering your question, Evan. Steve had the idea of contacting Bill Pronzini who know all when it comes to mystery fiction.

Charles Gramlich said...

there have been some cool figureheads for ships. Would like to see this museum.

Anonymous said...

Seeing these, I couldn't help but visualize Harryhausen's talking figurehead in Jason & the Argonauts.
A.S.