I have seen these sculptures and shipmodels since I was a kid and I never manages to remember wich is wich. The ship of the line was named after various virtues. I will try to post some pictures of the old models used for cadett education and to impress the king to spend money on various builds.I had some minutes and searched a little bit around in the web.
First of all I thought, that the figurehead is showing Hermes, but the cutted head in his right hand is not fitting to Hermes.
Soi I googled the maritime museum in your hometown, than Johan Törnström who made this figurehead (and a lot others) and fianlly found the info about the ship "Försiktigheten" (means "Caution") which carried the figurehead.
A swedish 62 gun third rate ship of the line from the year 1784...... interesting information
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Many thanks for sharing....and great that these old figureheads are still existing and available for public in your museum
Hallo Graham,If the figurehead is holding the head of the Medusa then that would mean it is Perseus. The head retained the ability to turn others to stone even after it was lopped off and he used it as a weapon. Maybe some symbology going on there, just a thought.
My old highschool was named Chapmanskolan. He is still legendary in the navy...It is getting more and more interesting (for me, and maybe also for some of you).....
The Försiktigheten was build in the shipyard in Karskrona in year 1784, at this time 1782 until 1793, Fredrik Henrik af Chapman was the head of the shipyard.
Maybe you know, that Chapman published the well known Architectura Navalis Mercatoria in 1768, including 62 plates showing drawings and theoretical calculations of this time....one of the first classic works......I have one reprint in my library....in the evening I have to take it once more into the hands
Here is a list of the plates....
here is also a possibility for downloading