Bone ship model

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

LAWRENCE HOUSE MUSEUM, LAUNCESTON. The Napoleonic wars had a great impact on Cornwall. Carved bone ship models like this one were made by French prisoners of war to keep them occupied during their imprisonment. With a generous weekly meat ration of 1-2 lbs, there was plenty of animal bone to work with. French prisoners often included skilled craftsmen like watchmakers and furniture makers. Finished models were sold to the public for up to £40 each. Some other examples have bone spars and rigging.

French Officers were held at Lawrence House, now the museum, and were allowed out on parole to stroll the streets of Launceston and other Cornish towns. Ten of them married Launceston girls in the period 1808-17. Henri de Cort, an amateur artist whose views of Launceston survive, was among the French officers billeted at Lawrence House or nearby in what was really an open prison.

Photo: Bernie Pettersen

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline

Location

Cornwall, Launceston

Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
5.5cm
W:
18.5cm
D:
6cm
Colour
Material

View more objects from people in Cornwall.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.