Ancient Sea Characters

Latrine figure - figurehead on a sailing ship. The figure was placed on the latrine (overhang at the bow of a sailing ship). At the same overhang installed latrines for the crew, so now called latrines toilets on ships. Elaborate carved decorative work in wood, known as nasal shapes were quite popular from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.
Above: fretwork "Katie Sark, 1896, photo by Alexei Suloeva

The nose shape of the vessel was originally dated to the Viking period, but at present its origin to determine the period from 350 to 650 a year, when the Germanic tribes spread across Europe after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire (left photo below).
Several centuries later, the Viking ships often demonstrated terrifying dragon's head during their raids, roughly between 800 and 1000 years BC (middle and right picture
Dutch figurehead: the left and middle - a battleship in 1787 "Saelend. Right: The ship in 1811, "Phoenix"
Nasal figures also served as a kind of a lucky mascot for the ship's crew. In Germany, Belgium and Holland, it was thought that nasal ornaments contained a spirit named Kaboutermanankes. This spirit of defending the ship and crew from severe storms, treacherous winds, uncharted rocks, sickness and disease and, ultimately, if the ship sank, the spirit of the sailors spent the soul into the afterlife. If the sailors lost their lives in the sea without such protection, it was believed that their souls are condemned to wander the sea forever.
The British frigate with a striking decoration of "Unicorn" was launched in 1824 (pictured above right).

Left: Prince Henry the Navigator adorns the nose "Sagres II" Portugal, 1937.
Right: the figurehead figure of a monk from the "Amerigo Vespucci ", "1931.

Clippers who sail on the trade routes around the globe in the middle of the nineteenth century were usually full-sized nasal shape, but they did not so complicated in execution. Before heading out for restoration, the tea clipper "Katie Sark in Greenwich, London, kept a huge number of bow shapes:

The former steamers were sometimes nasal shape, but figurehead for the most part died out with the demise of the sailing shipbuilding industry.
British Royal Navy ship "Rodney", launched in 1884, was the last British battleship adorned the bow shape, although some smaller vessels continued to be adorned by them until the first decades of the twentieth century. Decoration of the nose a British ship "Warrior" of the same epoch
The German ocean liner "Emperor" was launched in 1912 used a large bronze eagle as a bow shape (above right). He attached additional feet long ships, and provided an opportunity to recognize the "Emperor" the longest ship at the time, defeating the British ship "Olympic", the same type as the "Titanic."
Nose ornaments are usually depicted people, but there is a lion (below left) ... and even the King of the Seas Neptune in person (photo middle), whose face seems to be completely identical figurehead "Ajax", built in 1809 and participated in many battles during the long conflict with Napoleon (bottom right).
Today is elaborately decorated with designs of bow shapes found in museums and collections, are nothing more than a spectacular reminder of a bygone era ...