Bone model of French frigate

Contributed by Powell Cotton Museum Archives

Bone model of French frigate

Model of a French frigate made of bone, horse hair and metal pins has standing and running rigging above the planked deck, with open gun ports and cannon.
During the Peninsula Wars Napoleon began to lose battles to British, Spanish and Portuguese forces. French prisoners were shipped back to England. POW camps were set up, notably Dartmoor. Others were held in sordid conditions on prison hulks - decommissioned naval vessels anchored in estuaries and harbours.
Prisoners included skilled craftsmen - jewellers, silversmiths, woodworkers. Others developed skills during the long year. Using material to hand - wood, bone, glass, metal, string, even straw - they made all manner of items including combs, models, snuff boxes, game counters and dominoes. Objects sold to local people earned prisoners some small amount of money.
Accepted conventions of warfare changed in the Napoleonic era. Previously, European wars had been contested by armies commanded by the aristocracy and was conducted in as gentlemanly a manner as deadly combat allowed, prisoners were exchanged, officers given parole. In the Napoleonic era all this changed; the era of captivity for the duration had arrived.

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
Culture
Period
Theme
Size
Colour
Material

View more objects from people in Kent.

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.