Heritage Auctions will feature this 19th century Byzantine Woman ship’s figurehead in its September 22-25 Decorative Arts sale in Dallas.
The figurehead originally held a spear
The lot, valued at $10,000-15,000, was expertly carved and rendered in polychrome in England.
The colours retain their vibrancy even now, centuries on.
Figureheads like this one first appear in the 1500s, but had largely died out by the mid-1860s. The arrival of steel ships was the nail in the coffin for the carver’s art.
They remain popular collectors’ items, regularly changing hands for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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