Asked in History of Maritime
What is the woman on front of old sailing ship called?
April 10, 2018 10:07AM
It was called a figurehead, and was not always a woman. It could
be a man, or a representation of Neptune or other mythological
figure, or a horse, lion or dragon, ie something that suited the
name of the ship. For example, HMS Centurion might have the figure
of a Roman soldier.
The figurehead is the carved wooden statue, usually of a woman, sometimes a mermaid, often bare-breasted.
The Figurehead - A carved figure perched on the front or bow of sailing vessels that helped establish a ship's identity.
The general term is 'figure-head'. The names of particular figure-heads depends on the name of the ship.