VERY RARE WAR OF 1812 ROYAL NAVY
ADMIRAL’S RUDDER HEAD
Presented for only the second time in seven years
is a very rare polished brass steering device that mounts at the top of a pulling boat’s rudder head. The ornate
design is of two opposing fowled anchors and was likely used on a admiral’s barge because of its high cost. There
are two small blocks on the underside in which the steering lines were rigged so pulling on them moved the rudder. This allowed the coxswain to sit all the way aft and steer while looking forward.
It was a space saving device since steering by a tiller required
that the coxswain sit further forward and move the tiller from side to side to make a turn. This required that there was a
clear area on both sides behind him.
heads are very rare and few are seen outside museums or in books of nautical antiques.
Looking from the right and left sides
REF. “NAUTICAL ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES” by Jon Baddely, 1993; Page 75 pictures
three rudder heads, one of which is is very similar to the one shown here.
Art & Antiques” by Jacqueline L. Kranz, Crown Publishers, 1975 again shows something similar on page 107.
This set is mistakenly identified as nautical handles converted into bookends.
CONDITION: It is in
exceptional original condition and is mounted on a wood back board. The brass is polished bright as it would have been in
service. The two blocks for tackle are in working condition. It will make a dramatic display in any setting
or it could be fitted to a boat with an outboard rudder.
Anchor Cross Arm 18 1/2″
L x 6 1/2″ H x 1 1/2 ” T
Backboard 22″ L x 9″
H x 1 1/4″ T
an outstanding item for a collection of only the finest and most unusual. It is for a person who will appreciate its importance
Close-up of one of the pulleys