Object Image

Figurehead

A polychrome full-length figurehead of the mythical Greek messenger Nike (goddess of Victory) from the front of the funeral car built to carry the body of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson. The carving of a dark-haired, semi-naked female figure of 'Victory/Nike' is a direct link to HMS Victory (1765) and the naval victory at Trafalgar. Nike holds a victor's laurel wreath in her raised right hand and a palm frond in her left, which was carried in ancient Roman triumphal processions after a great victory. Her white classical robe is knotted at the waist and is bisected by the supporting beakhead bracket.

The funeral car took Nelson's body to St Paul's Cathedral on 9 January 1806. The Morning Post of 8 Ja ...
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Circa January 1805
Painted pine
1041.0 x 749.0 x 444.0 mm
FHD0093
Image and text © Royal Museums Greenwich, 2021

Where you'll find this

National Maritime Museum
Permanent collection