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A half-length gilt figurehead of Sunbeam [Constance Alberta Brassey] from the team yacht Sunbeam.


Object connections:

Collection Figureheads
User collections The Intrepid Amateurs by Nationalmaritimemuseum
Gallery locationNeptune Court (Floor plans)
PeopleDepiction: Brassey, Constance Alberta
VesselsSunbeam (1874)

Object details:

Object ID FHD0106
Description Gold-painted half-length figurehead of Thomas Brassey's steam yacht 'Sunbeam',1874, representing a female angel, looking upwards and forwards with hands crossed on the breast. It is based on Brassey’ s daughter Constance Alberta, whose nickname was 'Sunbeam'. Born on 18 February 1868 she died of scarlet fever, aged four, on 24 January 1873 and the 531-ton luxury yacht, launched the following year, commemorates her in both its name and with the figurehead. Brassey (1836–1918), son of Thomas senior the railway contractor, was a Liberal politican with a particular interest in naval matters. He was Civil Lord of the Admiralty in 1880–84 and governor of Victoria, Australia, 1895–1900. Knighted in 1881, he became a baron in 1886, the year he inaugurated the celebrated 'Brassey's Naval Annual', and Earl Brassey in 1911. His wife Annie (1839–87) was a passionate traveller and a writer on travelling, whose best-selling 'Voyage of the Sunbeam' (1878) records their 11-month family voyage round the world in 1876–77. As HM Yacht 'Liberty', 'Sunbeam' was later used as a hospital ship in the First World War.
Date made 1874

Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials organic: wood: pine
Measurements Overall: 1651 mm x 635 mm x 635 mm
  • A half-length gilt figurehead of Sunbeam [Constance Alberta Brassey] from the team yacht Sunbeam. (FHD0106)
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