Hey there! This weeks post for “Go Figure!” features a beautifully carved woman in ornate clothing, named Lady Edmonton. I like this one because of the wood’s detail and the colors used in her clothing. She has swept back hair, strong eyes and blushed cheeks. She is wearing an ornate necklace and a gold crown paired with a blue cape which has delicate gold details. Even though there has been heavy research conducted on Lady Edmonton, we finally concluded that she is in fact.. not a real person. It was decided that she was created to symbolize the bark Edmonton.
As I was researching in our records, I came across several other figureheads what were strikingly similar to Lady Edmonton. To make matters confusing, I came across a Lady Edinburgh who was VERY similar, and their names just threw me off even more. However, through careful reading I figured out that this style of women is very typical of the work done by carvers.
When it comes to any real information about Lady Edmonton, the Mariners’ Museum hit several walls because everyone we contacted knew next to nothing about the ship Edmonton or Lady Edmonton, that is until we heard back from the Public Archives of Canada. They informed us that the ship was built in St. Joseph de Levis, Quebec in 1882 by William Charland, and she had one deck and beams for a second, three masts, a round stern, no galleries and a female figurehead (our Lady Edmonton). In the summer of 1882, he sold the vessel to John Herron and James Ross of Liverpool, England. Through the years she had several owners, even though Herron and Ross held the majority of ownership. In June 1890 they sold Edmonton to the city of Quebec and she was condemned and sold in public auction.
This post was very interesting for me as I enjoyed reading the various letters between the Mariners’ Museum and other correspondence trying to track down this figurehead’s origins. When we receive objects for collections there is a lot of research and work to be done on the artifacts and obstacles to overcome. Many times we hit walls due to a problem with correspondence or because we just need more time to explore.