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File:Vasa port galleries1.jpg
The port quarter galleries of the 17th century warship Vasa
. The galleries alone have over 70 highly ornate wooden sculptures of varying themes and size, all of which were originally painted in bright, vivid colors.
A quarter gallery is an architectural feature of the stern of a sailing ship from around the 16th to the 19th century. Quarter galleries are a kind of balconies, typically placed on the sides of the sterncastle, the high, tower-like structure at the back of a ship that housed the officer's quarters. They functioned as a firing platform for the ship's marines and sharpshooters during boarding actions. The galleries also provided a structure that was ideally suited for attaching decoration and often bore carved wooden sculptures, particularly in the 17th century.
- Laughton, L. G. Carr (1991) Old Ship Figure-Heads and Sterns Conway Maritime Press, London ISBN 0-85177-595-0