Go Figure! (-King Neptune)

Posted on
Neptune Figurehead in gallery.
Neptune Figurehead in gallery.

Hey everyone! This week I decided that we should take a break from the all the female figureheads and look at one of our males. King Neptune, god of the sea according to Roman mythology. While the mythological god has a lot of background, we do not know the exact origin of our figurehead. For this post, I want to talk about Neptune in mythology and give you all some more information on our figurehead.

In Roman mythology, King Neptune was the god of fresh water, which is something that I found interesting. It was not until 400 B.C. when he started to become identified with King Poseidon of Greek mythology, thus taking on the role God of the Sea. Typically he is depicted holding a trident, a common weapon used by fishermen and sailors on the Mediterranean. His wife, Salacia, was the goddess of spring water and was also associated with Poseidon’s wife, Amphitrite. In regards to Roman mythology, Neptune played a relatively minor role in mythology (Poseidon had a much greater influence in Greek mythology). Legend states that Neptune and his brothers, Jupiter and Pluto (Zeus and Hades in Greek mythology) split up the heavens into three realms and ruled them separately. In the Greek myth it was said that their father, Cronus, had swallowed him after his birth and Jupiter (Zeus) rescued him. In addition to being god of the sea, Neptune was also worshiped as god of the horses and was also referred to as Neptune Equester. With this title he was the patron of horse racing, which I personally find odd since he is more commonly associated with water and the two do not really go hand-in-hand.   Read more

Go Figure! (-Mermaid Follow Up)

Posted on
Second Mermaid Figurehead
Second Mermaid Figurehead

This post will be devoted to the second mermaid in our collection! This figurehead is a gilt mermaid with a greenish bronze tail and long flowing brown hair. I particularly like this mermaid because she was carved into the into the trail-boards of the the bow, something fairly abnormal for most other figureheads.  As mentioned last post, the second half of the “Go Figure!” series will look at the darker side of mermaids, even though this mermaid does not appear to be scary or mean. I chose this mermaid to do this side of the creatures because the fin-like detail towards the end of her tail, give off a less human side than the other one did and show a more ‘evil’ aspect of mermaids.

The darker side of mermaids is the side that I have heard more tales about, and personally find it to be more interesting. I like that these women are seen as objects of beauty, but they have a dark twist. The most common of mermaid folklore says that these sea nymphs sing entrancing songs and use their beauty to lure sailors out to sea.   Read more

Go Figure!

Posted on
"A Mermaid" by John William Waterhouse, 1901.
“A Mermaid” by John William Waterhouse, 1901.

For this post in “Go Figure!” I wanted to look at the two mermaids we have in our collection. For centuries myth and legends of mermaids have been told around the world, so I want to take this chance to share some stories and let you all know about the two ladies we have here in our collection.

The myth and folklore of mermaids have been around since 1000 B.C.E. While their whereabouts and intentions have differed through the years, this week I want to focus on the kinder and more gentle side of mermaids, since I think this particular figurehead has a sweet composure. For the next post, I will discus our other figurehead, and while she does not look the least bit frightening, I still think she is up to something.   Read more