Terminology from the Age of Sail

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Search result for any reference to: figurehead
Billethead: An alternative bow decoration to the figurehead, usually carved flowing shapes, often flowers or leaf like curls, ending in an upward or downward spiral below the bowsprit.
Fiddlehead: The scrolled stemhead of a vessel lacking a true figurehead.
Figurehead: An ornamental carved and painted figure or scene on the stem, below the bowsprit, generally expressing some aspect of the ship's name or owner.

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A straddlehead was a free standing figure, normally standing on a little but often decorated platform extending ahead of the ship. An example is shown directly below:

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An alternate form of bow decoration was the billethead.
Hair Bracket: A moulding which comes in at the back of, or runs aft from a figurehead or billethead.
Trailboard: One of a pair of boards or a set of often gilded and elaborate carvings, located on each side of the stem 'trailing' the figurehead. A trailboard often helped to express and support the ship's name, sometimes with figures or scenes related to the figurehead. Later, simpler trailboards often have a vine or oakleaf theme.

Stream god
Stream god figurehead with crops in her trailboard


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