Website of the Friends of the Jersey Maritime Museum

Association of Jersey Charities Number: 167

Maritime Jersey

fomm compass (sm) FJMM flagpole

Object of the Month

Every month an object from the collection will be featured here:

January 2013


Figurehead, 19th century

Many sailing vessels bore a carved figurehead at their bow. Often regarded as a superstitious feature, figureheads also served a very practical function for many sailors were illiterate and a figurehead was a means of identifying vessels. This figurehead is associated with the schooner Charlotte which was built by Philip Bellot at Gorey in 1874.


We can’t be sure that the carvers were employed only on figurehead carving.  The Alexanders came from Hampstead Heath to Jersey in the early 1800s and they became well known for carving and rope making. The lectern in St Saviour’s Church in Guernsey was carved by Jacques Alexander who was then a Jerseyman, and he also carved the lectern in St Ouen’s Church.

John Jean, maritime historian









Figurehead pattern book bookplate

Richard Lee, originally from Liverpool, was working as a wood carver in Jersey during the 1820s and 1830s. He appears to have returned to Liverpool iabout 1843 and from there emigrated to the USA where his book of designs has recently been discovered.

Doug Ford, maritime historian

figurehead in blue dress 19C R Lee Carver 1820s