Ships figureheads date from around 3000 years ago when eyes were painted on each side of the prow on Egyptian, Indian, Chinese ships. They were there originally to enable ships to "see" their way securely through what was presumed to be the realm of malignant forces and obstructive devils. They naturally developed over the ages into the type of figurehead seen in the picture. This one is the figurehead from the brig Levant built at Dundee in 1853. It was registered in Whitby in May 1865. Its owner was Smith Stainthrop Esq., of Robin Hood's Bay.