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Bronze Ship’s Cathead

The cathead is an adornment found on the end of the large wooden beams located on either side of the bow on a fighting sailing ship. Angled forward at roughly 45 degrees, these beams are used to support the ship’s anchor when raising it or lowering it, and for carrying the anchor on its stock-end when suspended outside the ship’s side. Like the figurehead, these items are most rare when found and are considered unique. They are comprised of carved wood or sometimes a molded metal with cat like features. The origin of the term “cat head” is obscure, but dates at least to the 17th century. It weighs approximately 50 pounds and measures 14 1/2″(H) x 12.5″(W). Mounted on a custom stand.