The 4th rate steam frigate Chesapeake was built at Chatham in 1855, to replace the earlier Chesapeake which was captured from the Americans at Boston Bay in 1816. She served as flagship to the commanding officers in the East Indies and China, and eventually broken up in 1867. The figurehead was transferred to the Royal Navy yard at Sheerness where she remained as a shore exhibit, slowly decaying.
An attempt to salvage the figure was undertaken in 1990, by assembling the remaining fragments around a central support, with missing parts substituted with fibreglass and plaster. This temporary measure ensured some record of the figure survived, if inaccurate in many areas.
Maritima was commissioned to restore what remained of the original figure. This effectively involved carving a replica working from photographs that survive of the original, then incorporating any parts of the original figure that were still sound.
This project is now complete as shown in the following pictures.