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Donald Mckay(Or his client)had a sense of humor!


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According to the description in Howe & Matthews, the Santa Claus did, indeed, have the old elf as the figure head.  They also include a couple of pages about Neptune's Favorite, mainly about her various trips.  She seems to have been a fairly fast medium clipper. 


Howe, Octavius T. & F. T. Matthews American Clipper Ships 1833-1858 Vol 2.

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That, unfortunately, is not in the narrative! 


I did stumble across a painting of the ship which can be viewed at http://blueworldwebmuseum.org/item.php?category=Maritime_Portraits&title=Captain_Oliver_Lane_With_Neptune%27s_Favorite&id=351&catid=76


From http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/News/BDA/BDA%281854-06-21%29.html we have the following:


Her bow rakes gently as it rises, and it is ornamented with a full female figure, blended with the cutwater, for the ship has neither head nor trail-boards, but is finished like a clipper.



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Chariot of Fame was a sister ship to the Star of Empire.  Lot's of description about the Chariot of Fame in Howe, Octavius T. & F. T. Matthews, but no description of the figurehead.  A little bit about some of the features (stanchions, knees, bottom color) in William l. Crothers The American Built Clipper Ship but no good drawings.  David MacGregor doees have a picture of Chariot of Fame and copy of part of the plans for both in his British & American Clippers (pages 122-124).


I do not have the book, but a snippet on Google Books of Donald McKay and His Famous Sailing Ships (page 103) states that as a figurehead, the Star of Empire had as a figurehead


"...the Goddess of Fame with outspread wings.  A trumpet was raised in the right hand, and her left hand, which was also raised, held a garland.  her girdle was emblazoned with miniatures of our distinguished statesmen.  The figure wasa robed in vestments of white, fringed with gold, its pedestal was ornamented with carved floral work."

Edited by trippwj
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