‘Sea’ Figurehead – Update May 2014

FIGUREHEAD CONSERVATION WORK IN PROGRESS

Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Australian National Maritime Museum in November work has begun in stabilising and consolidating the figurehead. Noel Turner from Artfix has been working on the first stage to protect the figurehead from further deterioration.

Noel Turner Working on the Figurehead

Noel Turner Working on Minor consolidation Prior to Cleaning the Figurehead

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‘Sea’ Figurehead – Update

FIGUREHEAD CONSERVATION WORK BEGINS

Sea FigureheadThanks to a $5,000 grant from the Australian National Maritime Museum in November we are able to make a start on stabilising and consolidating the figurehead. Noel Turner from Artfix has agreed to complete the necessary work in stages while we await the next grant or donation.

This preliminary work will cost $6,500 so we are looking for donations to add to the $5,000 grant.

We are relieved that the important preliminary work at least can begin in the next few weeks as the wood is becoming very fragile now.

The figurehead will be transported to Noel’s studio in Melbourne this week – December 19th. A photographic record of the work being done will be taken.

All donations are tax deductible.

Contact Joy Kitch for more information via the ‘Contact Us‘ page on the website.

The Figurehead

The ‘Bird Figurehead’

Sea Figurehead

In March, a phone call from a Bob McKenzie in Geelong led to a veritable flurry of emails and meetings. He had read on our website about the figurehead and our theory regarding its origin.

Fifteen years of research into his family history and especially the Scottish couple who emigrated on the Sea in 1851, had given him drawers full of information. He had travelled to Liverpool to access relevant documents, and it was one of these, the 1847 Registration Papers for the Sea, mentioning her bird figurehead, which gave the strongest support to date to our long-held theory linking the figurehead to that vessel.

Further research continues, and may never give us 100% proof, but all evidence now points in the same direction, and is sufficient to encourage us to seek a grant for conservation work on this now very fragile artefact.

As you can imagine, when Bob suggested a commemorative event for the 160th anniversary of the wreck of the Sea at Point Nepean, we were enthusiastic.

It takes place on June 1st 2013 in our museum, with the figurehead on show, and we’ll give you an account of it next time.

Joy Kitch and Janet South