226
226

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTION (LOTS 226-228)

A French Prisoner-of-War bone model of a guillotine early 19th century
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 40,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
226

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTION (LOTS 226-228)

A French Prisoner-of-War bone model of a guillotine early 19th century
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 40,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Collections: European Decorative Arts

|
New York

A French Prisoner-of-War bone model of a guillotine early 19th century
height 20 in.; length 18 1/2 in.; depth 8 1/2 in.
51 cm; 47 cm; 21.5 cm
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Catalogue Note

The Napoleonic Wars changed the history of warfare, in particular through France's refusal to honor the tradition of prisoner swaps, thus vastly increasing the number of prisoners of war. France also imprisoned all English males on French soil, which went against the custom of only arresting active combatants. The British followed suit; thus, there were an estimated 80,000 French prisoners interned in Britain during the war. Left to their own devices, prisoners occupied themselves with the traditional handicrafts of soldiers and sailors, such as carving, whittling, and fancy ropework. This pastime soon turned into a mini economy. France gave their prisoners a small salary, so prisoners used that money to buy supplies from the British officers who then either purchased the carvings from the prisoners or brought in others to buy. This guillotine is of an impressive size and features some unique elements, such as the mini cannons lining the deck, the working guillotine blade, and the large amount of soldiers present.

Collections: European Decorative Arts

|
New York