My husband Bill told me he wanted to meet a woman who could go on blue water sailing adventures, dirt camping surf trips by boat and who loves warm water salt and spray in her face. So I bought him this. It’s a nautical figurehead, a carved figure typically mounted on a ship’s bow. In the early days of seafaring, when wooden ships sailed the seas, carved figureheads depicting women were also known as “Neptune’s wooden angels.” Early use of these figureheads were varied among the early seafaring civilizations. Vikings used their figureheads to intimidate their opponents and ward off evil spirits, while the ancient Phoenicians used horses to represent speed. Eventually, figureheads came to represent a way for a non-literate person to identify the ship and to show off the wealth and prosperity of the ship’s owner. Their popularity continued to grow until the invention of the steam ship, which no longer included a bowsprit, which is where figureheads were traditionally mounted. They are hard to find. I was lucky to salvage this one in a boat yard at the Santa Cruz Harbor.
Our “sea goddess” now holds a special place of honor mounted above our outdoor fireplace and fits in exceptionally well with our home’s nautical themed decor.