A Large Hand Painted Vintage Ship's Nameboard from the Vessel 'Ogano'

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Origin: British
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1920-40
Height: 9.75 inches
Length: 72 inches
Depth: 1.5 inches (wood) / 4.5 inches (with portholes)


The oblong single piece wooden plinth lobed at each end, centred by a gilt painted name ‘Ogano’ between applied brass & glass portholes. The board has obviously been used as a decorative display piece for some time as there are two old hanging hooks present to the top one loop to the bottom for wall mounting.

The board is in good overall order, the brass and glass on the portholes are in tact and the wood remains strong, with the paintwork still quite vivid. There is one area of vanish, around the last ‘o’ that has been reapplied at some stage but the whole is nicely aged.

There are several vessels in maritime history named Ogano, though from our research it is possible that this particular Ogano was originally ordered by the Hull Northern Fishing Co. Ltd, named Hugh Black and built in 1917. Once named Macbeth, she was ne-named Ogano in 1929. Of course, the board could be from another vessel altogether.

Regardless, this board is probably from a tugboat or trawler and could have been a termed a trailboard placed at the stemhead, a stearnboard, across the stern or transom or simply a nameboard which can appear in lots of places on the ship. Either way a nameboard is essentially a painted or carved board where the ship's name is displayed. In sailing ships there was usually one placed on each quarter abaft the mizzen chains and in mechanically propelled vessels there is one on each side of the navigating bridge secured to the deck margin plank. On tugs and other harbor craft it is usually displayed on top of the wheelhouse. Decorative trailboards were added by seamen and ship builders over the centuries. Authentic carvings off of actual ships are a rare occurrence, are highly sought after, and increasingly difficult to find. This is an authentic remnant artifact from sailing ship era.

Antique ship nameboards are not at all commonplace and this is a nice decorative relic that would instantly add a nautical feel to a room, a restaurant or a boathouse to name but a few.

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